“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” —Romans 12:16-18 (ESV)
We’ve all been there. A brother or sister in Christ responded in a most ungodly way. All of a sudden our blood starts to boil, our teeth clench, and steam begins rolling out of our ears. In that moment we want to respond in kind. “If he/she is going to be like that, stand back because I’m going to blow!”
I’m not going to lie. I still go there from time to time. But, thankfully, the older I get, the more I find myself stepping back and talking with God. It’s not age that has done it. It’s just that the older I get, the more I recognize the abundant grace that God has bestowed on me.
I have never deserved His grace, not one time. There’s no doubt in my mind that it is only by His grace that I stand. And because He has shown grace to me, I am able to show grace to others.
It’s a strange thing, the first time that grace inserts itself into your heart before you have a chance to get angry, especially when those around you are out for blood. It’s as though the world around you stops, and the love of Jesus floods your heart—the love of Jesus for those who are in the wrong. At once your own sinfulness becomes more apparent to you than their sinfulness. As a result, you are flooded with the memory of grace.
God has shown you grace, thus enabling you to show others grace.
I know what you’re thinking. “Good for you. Some of us just aren’t that spiritual!”
I’m not either; believe me!
It’s easy to get caught up, either in our own sins, or the sins of others. But, “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Psalms 103:12, ESV). He doesn’t drag out and bring up our forgiven sins (even though we often do that with others!). So, what are we to do? How are we to find that place where we can forgive and show grace?
When we find ourselves dwelling on past sins, we need to turn our attention to His grace. Our sin was great; His grace is greater. To help us along that path, we should fill our hearts and minds with what God’s Word says about grace. A quick query on a search engine will turn up lots of verses to get you started. One such site yielded 44 verses on grace!
Over time, we will become quicker and quicker at putting on the “grace goggles.” I believe that the more we focus on the grace that has been given us by God, the more we will be willing and able to show grace to others in our lives, even when they don’t deserve it (that’s how we got it from God!).
As always, these are the musings of a mindful disciple. Blessings on your week!
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