When Grace is Needed

I find that I’m being taught a lesson that has made me particularly uncomfortable.  There has been a situation (the details are not important at this time) that has challenged my view of grace.  I understood grace in the sense that many know grace as Christians.  However, there is a particular side of grace that is to be a human response to the grace given by Christ.  Now seeing that side in new light, I have come to find that grace is needed when we have been hurt & not only just when we have done the hurting.

So what is grace?  Well, we love Google, don’t we?  A search of the word grace returns, “(in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”  There are other definitions of the word but as it states in parenthesis, we’re concerned with grace as it relates to the Christian and is informed by Christ.  I won’t dwell on the areas of grace in that we have life, another day/ chance to repent, people around us, earth to live on, etc…  These exist for both the Christian and the non-Christian alike.  Further, the grace extended by the outstretched arms of Christ on the cross to suffer a punishment that was not his but ours and offer hope for people to be with God is the ultimate act of grace.  Why?  Because it was not required of God to do so nor did/ do we as humans offer anything that causes us to deserve such.

Yes, grace is most needed for the forgiveness of sin.  It is most needed now for every unrepentant person.  It is most needed now for every Christian.  For without God’s grace; in sending His Son to die, offering repentance through Christ’s death and resurrection, offering moments and chances to repent before it is too late, and accepting our repentance and trust in Christ, we have no hope.

This is the side of grace that is well known to Christians.  The side that is needed when we have wronged God and are in need of His forgiveness.

However, there is a side of grace that flows from receiving the grace of God for the pardon of sin.  This type of grace is to be practiced by people.  Why?  It is selfish to only consider grace when we are wanting to be the recipients.  It is this that brings me to consider how I must show grace because of the grace given to me.  It is also the hardest application to put into practice; showing grace to those who hurt you.

Why is it hard though?  I think perhaps if we find giving grace difficult that we could also find that we struggle with something far more dangerous.  Pride.  Could it be that pride has taken the place of gratefulness in our heart?  Could it be that a sense of entitlement has crept in?  But why is this so dangerous?  Well, it goes against the very meaning of God’s grace to us.  We did not, could not, will not ever do remotely enough to qualify us to be the recipients of God’s grace.  Entitlement and grace do not relate.

So when someone wrongs us, are we quick to consider that we have wronged someone greater than us?  Are we quick to consider that we have been forgiven by someone greater than us?  Are we quick to consider God’s grace?  Are we quick to offer grace to one another?

MC

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