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Greg and I have been working on creating this new space for us to share together and fellowship together. It is still a bit of a work in progress. If there are any glitches, please let me know so we can try to resolve them right away.
Thank you so much for reading and may God richly bless your walk with Christ!
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This post is from a guest contributor, Lee Ann, a Christian single woman in her 30s. Thanks so much for sharing Lee Ann! I am excited to get to share more posts from our single sisters. May her insights bless you!
When you look up the word grace in the dictionary, the second definition of grace is (in Christian belief):
the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
Most of us understand the definition and many of us have experienced God’s grace first hand. It truly is a beautiful thing. However, what we sometimes fail to realize, is that like all beautiful things, its beauty doesn’t lessen based on whether we are the giver or receiver.
Sometimes we forgot that God’s grace is not based on who we are, but rather who He is.
We sometimes feel entitled to God’s grace – but of course, we are not. We sometimes extend grace to others for small offenses – the postal worker who inadvertently left your package on the neighbor’s porch, the driver who cut us off in traffic, the pharmacist who was late filling our prescription, the server who forgot to refill our drink. We don’t cause a scene. We point out these situations and generally say something along the lines of, “that’s okay; we all make mistakes”.
What happens when our world is flipped upside down and we are rocked to the core? Sometimes we think that others must deserve our forgiveness because we are commanded to forgive, but we do not feel as if they deserve grace.
- Do we have to give grace to the lady who gossiped and ruined our reputation?
- Do we have to give grace to the man who promised us love, but refused to give it when his lust was satisfied?
- Do we have to give grace to the dad who walked away when we were a child and now wants a relationship when we no longer need him?
The thing is, no one deserves grace or forgiveness. My friends, we are looking at this all wrong.
It is not about what we HAVE to do, but about what we GET to do.
When the fruit of the Spirit are being produced in our life, we have the capability to extend grace. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). Gentleness enables us to extend grace to those who do not deserve it. This excites me. God not only forgave me, but pardoned me with His grace. Because the Holy Spirit lives in me – I, too, can extend grace. There is a power and a beauty in that thought that blows my mind.
God allows me, a wretched sinner, to be an extension of Himself, who is perfect!
Extending grace is not a chore; it is a privilege. Those who are not walking with the Lord do not have this power. Our nature does not enable us to be good. Grace is not about saying, “Oh, that’s okay”. Grace is about saying:
- “I love you more than your sin/mistake/past. I love you enough to help you overcome and to fight.”
- “I forgive you. I want you to be whole. I want you to see the love of Christ in my eyes, hear it in my voice, and feel it in my embrace”.
I pray that we see grace for the privilege that it is, and not as a mandated chore. Has there been a time where it seemed impossible to extend grace, but the Holy Spirit empowered you?
Please keep in mind, extending grace and forgiveness are commands of Jesus to all of His followers. But trusting someone who is unrepentant of his/her sin is not a command. We have the responsibility and blessing of forgiving others and sharing the grace Jesus gave to us. But there is a difference between giving grace, forgiving, and trusting someone. Trust must be rebuilt and requires the other person’s cooperation. Grace and forgiveness are things we can do in God’s power all on our own whether the other person is cooperative or not. 🙂