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.