I love the song “Amazing Grace”. Is grace truly amazing though? When our sins are forgiven, it is. When God wipes our slate clean and says “you are forgiven and you don’t have to earn it”, it’s amazing! What isn’t amazing though is when we have to extend that grace to others. Grace is anything but amazing during such times.
Have you ever been in situations of conflict? I seem to have no trouble being in the middle of a conflict. Conflict, intentional or unintentional, gives us a valid reason to withhold grace. Like any other human being, I’ve had the desire to just walk out, hold on, give back. But the cross pursues me to do the exact opposite. Grace is hard! Very hard to be honest! It destroys your pride and ego. Once you have given your heart to Jesus, you cannot simply follow your heart. You are no longer a slave to your feelings and emotions. Your heart belongs to Jesus and He is grace. While He doesn’t force Himself on us to extend grace, He pursues us. He shows us how His grace covered us. None of us deserve God’s love or grace. Our hearts are crooked and are perfectly capable of every kind of evil. But His grace surrounds us and He pursues us to be like Him. Grace is amazing when received but hard to give…very hard to give. But grace is not ours to keep. It must be passed on. There is no other way!
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
John 1:16 ESV
PS: Isn’t extending grace equal to putting ourselves in harm’s way again? Sometimes it is. Removing ourselves from a situation of harm is good, healthy and often required . But wherever possible, grace should be our goal.