We’re all kinda messed up. And we mess up. We have blind spots. We hurt others. And when we do, we all want to be shown grace. Forgiveness. Patience.
Yet we often struggle to give others this same grace – especially when we disagree on important things like theology, politics, culture and who the greatest basketball player of all time really is.
This week in the Daily Dose we’re exploring grace, mercy and forgiveness. Why we want it, why we need it, how to give it.
Here’s the thing – we can’t just will our way to forgiving someone who has hurt us. It’s not human. It’s supernatural. As they say, “to err is human, to forgive, divine.” So if this is true, and I believe it is, here’s a question I think we must wrestle with: how do we tap into God’s grace in order to more fully give it to one another?
I have found that my own unforgiveness is very often rooted in an inability to forgive myself. By forgiving myself I mean actually believing that God loves me when I know all the dumb things I’ve done in life – or just this week. Because we feel unloved and ashamed, we find it even harder to extend love and grace and dignity – the opposite of shame and hatred. Part of the very nature of real grace is that it can’t be earned or worked out – only accepted. But let me suggest today that we try three things that can posture us to experience grace more deeply:
1- Allow God’s love to sink deep. In Jesus, we are indeed forgiven and made new.
2- Ask for forgiveness from the people we know we’ve wronged recently.
3- Give forgiveness that flows from number 1 – as we soak in the reality of being forgiven, let it spur us on to extend that same forgiveness to others.
As we spend more and more time with God simply listening and being thankful, His waves of love and grace will flow over us. Stay in his presence until they do. Don’t leave until you have heard, sensed, felt, read the truth that He loves you. Don’t tell God anything. Let God speak his love over you. Then pick up the phone to text or call that friend or family member and jump into the cycle of healing that only God’s grace can fuel.
Grace and Peace,