Grace is a funny thing. We toss it around in church services and yet don’t fully understand it’s meaning. We want grace for ourselves but judgement for all others. We can’t imagine how Christ could be gracious to that person.
Oh, I’ve been there. I see someone or even know them fairly well and wonder where there judgement is. I mean, after all, I’ve walked through some pretty difficult things that seemed like judgement to me. And I’ve definitely sinned enough to have judgement passed down on me. Of course, if we’re all honest, we all deserve judgement. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
But let’s back up a minute. What is grace? According to the dictionary, grace is free and unmerited favor of God. Unmerited favor. That simply means we can’t earn it. Let that sink in a minute. I have spent a lot of my life thinking if I was just good enough, if I followed all the rules, if I read my Bible daily that I could earn the love and grace of God. But that’s not grace at all! However, as Christians that’s how we treat others.
Now, here’s the funny thing about grace. Grace saves you. Jesus Christ extends grace to cover your sins because He already paid the ultimate price. And then grace allows you to have a real relationship with Jesus. Now, this is where the real change begins to happen in your life. As my preacher says, your “wanter” begins to change. You want to do the right things, and slowly the Holy Spirit begins to nudge your heart. Then because of your love for the Lord, you begin to live more Christ-like, read your Bible daily, give up past sins. And if you mess up, there’s that little thing called grace that sees you through.
Somewhere along the way grace has become skewed. We either choose to view grace as a license to sin or we choose grace for ourselves and hold everyone else to a higher standard. Philippians 2:12 says, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” We can’t look at others and know what their walk with Christ is. We have to extend grace to those around us.
Grace is free and it shouldn’t cost for us to give it to others. Let’s live like Christ and encourage those around us instead of judging. That grace you show today just might win someone to Christ today!