Grace changes us

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Jesus tells a story of a man who owes a moneylender a large sum of money and the moneylender cancels the man’s debt. Having been thus freed from his obligation, this guy proceeds to go to someone who owes him a comparatively small amount of money and demand he pay it back or he will have him thrown in jail. What happened here? The kindness that was extended to him did not work its way into his life. He did not learn about forgiveness. This was probably a person who lives with a warped sense of entitlement. He was not humbled by receiving what he did not deserve. Maybe he thought he deserved it, or maybe he goes through life trying to get whatever he can for free, but the gift had no effect on his life so you can’t really say that he got it. He received grace, but he didn’t see it as grace. He didn’t recognize it or give thanks.

We talk a lot about grace turned outward. It’s the central theme of all we say and do here at the Catch. But grace turned outward is more a statement regarding the true nature of grace than anything we do or put on — as if you could receive grace and not give it out. Grace turned outward is part of the definition of grace. It’s a sign that one understands the work of grace in their own life. Grace given is grace received. You can’t have one without the other.   

You don’t go out and try to muster up enough grace to share with someone. You merely extend what you have received. If you can’t give it, you probably didn’t get it, at least you didn’t recognize it as grace. Again, turning grace outward is not something that is hard to do. It is the natural outflow of truly understanding and receiving the grace being extended to us by God.

God’s grace humbles us; it levels the playing field. We are all equally undeserving. We are all equally needy. So that when we get it, grace changes us.

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4 Responses to Grace changes us

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Loved reading Today’s Catch! ❤

  2. John A Fagliano says:

    I think you nailed it, John. A warped sense of entitlement is the number one reason why people are not forgiving. “How dare someone do that to ME! I’ll get them!” Instead we should be aware of God’s Love and grace and whenever we sin we should think ” How dare I do that to GOD! After all He’s done for me”

    Then, once we know that His grace covers us in spite of such errors, our forgiveness will flow freely. Just remember that whenever we forgive someone, God forgave them first.

  3. Marc says:

    I keep wondering what would happen if the story had gone differently. In an alternate version, he goes out after being forgiven the great debt and goes to the man who owes him twenty denarii. The man says, “be patient, and I will repay.” the one who had been forgiven thinks a bit and says “I am in need, what can you give me?”
    “I can give you five denarii,” says the man.
    “Give that to me and we’ll call it done.”
    The master commends him for his act, saying “You remembered, and you were in need and asked him for help. You did well. Go in peace.”

  4. Sandie says:

    Thank you John – you nailed what I tried to say yesterday – using Jesus’ words. He has forgiven us all so much, after enduring what we deserved. How could we dare deny our forgiveness toward another after we have received it so freely from Him. No strings attached. It goes back to your devotionals on building bridges.

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