Last Sunday we started a five-part series about living generously. I focused on the importance of being generous with our thanks to God in every situation because that is his will for us as Christ followers. Being conscious of our favoured position prompts us to be grateful for what we do have and to express our thanks to others freely. I believe that this is a refreshing way to live in a world that is largely ungrateful.
This week I want to look at the impact that generous living has on our relationships. I have in mind being lavish with our grace towards others. What do I mean by grace?
Grace is essentially unmerited favour. To receive grace means that you have been treated better than you actually deserved to be. You probably remember times when you were shown kindness or goodwill seemingly out of the blue. You weren’t particularly expecting it but deep down you knew you needed it.
Your salvation is all grace. You needed to be saved from your sins but you had no way to do it. So Jesus did all the work and made your salvation possible. All you had to do was thankfully receive the gift by faith.
Receiving grace is one side of the equation. Giving grace is the other. Someone has to do something they are not required to do to benefit someone else. In the case of your salvation, Jesus willingly gave himself to help those who couldn’t help themselves.
We are called to follow the example of Jesus in giving grace generously. As we do, we will receive even more grace from God. This is the principle of reaping what we sow. Over the next few days read Luke 7:37,38 and see how this works. Think about how your relationships are enhanced by practicing these directives. How does an environment without judging or condemning one another and by forgiving and giving to each other foster healthy interaction and partnership?
If you have time, also read Matthew 18:21-35. It’s another example of the blessing of grace given and the consequences of grace withheld as it relates to forgiveness. It’s true that if you understand how much grace you’ve been shown you are very likely to be generous in showing grace to others.
See you Sunday!