Do we really comprehend the meaning of Grace when we speak it into one another? Do we understand what Free Grace means to us when receiving it from our heavenly Father? Grace is an easy word to use, but not so easy to implement in our daily lives. We as Believers are here on Earth to represent the Grace of God. Our walk with Christ should emulate the Grace in which we abide in. Let us examine how we portray the Grace of God to the world in our everyday lives. We may have more opportunities than we think to rise to the occasion as Disciples of Christ.
For our Hope is not the flesh in which we were born, but in the Life that is within us, which is greater than the life in this world, so that we may do all things through Christ who strengthens me. How hard is it to Love an enemy? It doesn’t even seem natural, does it? We may say, we forgive them, but down deep inside our hearts, we may have a hardening of the heart when it comes to that man or woman who caused us anguish. We can’t see how important our Love for them truly is. We do not see how having Grace on an individual who has caused us pain could ultimately save our own lives. In most cases, we raise ourselves above this individual as being higher ranked than he or she. We think of ourselves a better person than they are and subsequently develop a manner of pride in ourselves for not having the same instincts as a person of bad character would have. What we don’t see or immediately comprehend is the hardening of the heart that comes with this type of thinking. Our sense of pride blocks our capacity to have Grace or Forgiveness for that person or any other persons that may entice the same emotions the original act incurred. Therefore leaving us incapable of feeling Forgiveness, not only for others, but also for ourselves.
It is by the understanding of Forgiveness that we comprehend our Salvation and our ways are altered to a more worthy one of our calling. We see in Romans 8 where the scripture explains the separation we have been given between Life in Law and Life in Christ. The difference meaning that when we were subjected to Law, it brought life to the sin in our lives therefore led us to death. But Christ puts sin in our lives to death and we then live by Christ who lives within us transforming who we are and what we look like. If we come to truly understand the magnitude of that gift, how then can we not forgive one who trespasses against us as Christ forgave us?
So then what must we do to start forgiving our enemies? How can we lay down our pride, swallow the lump in our throat, lay down our affliction and reckon ourselves a friend to one who has caused detrimental pain in our lives? Simply serve them as Christ served us. Lay our lives down to being a sacrifice of their sin. Laying down our emotions about a situation so as to see more clearly the situation and why it occurred. Seeing the enemy as one who is lashing out in anger because of their pain or anguish. Seeing others as Christ first saw us. One with no hope of ever finding God’s favor and peace. One who was lost in sin and occuring in death. A lost soul needing redemption just as we were before we accepted Christ’s death as our very own!
There is no perfect way to begin this process. And for some it may be harder than for others. But we must start somewhere if we are to truly magnify God’s Grace to this world for the Hope of Salvation. We must start somewhere.
Philippians 4:6 NASV
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Yes, prayer is the key to taking any step of Faith with the Lord. Start praying for God to manifest Forgiveness toward that person in your heart. That He soften the heart and fill the void the pain caused so that it be remembered no more.
Our fleshly bodies have an innate way of dealing with pain. The mind will actually cause a pattern of electrical impulses to generate in your brain. Each time you recollect this behavior or action, the brain will replay those electrical impulses triggering the sense of danger or emotion of fear to course through your body in order to avoid being hurt again. We must learn through time which of these reactions are relevant to our physical safety and or mental stability. When we allow ourselves too many fear reactions, we lose our ability to walk in Faith. We instead rely on our flesh and what is seen to us rather than what may be coming in goodness from the Lord, which is unseen. The scripture tells us who puts their hope in what is seen? Almost revealing a foolishness in this behavior. Romans 8:24 NASV.
So we must consider ourselves an open vessel to God’s forgiveness so that He can pour Forgiveness or Grace into us, but also that we may hold it for others. Thayer defines God’s Grace to us as being good will, loving-kindness, favour of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.
He fulfills everything we need to magnify the Life of Christ so as to be thought of as Christians, leading in Good Examples of God’s finished work of Grace to all of mankind. We become stewards of that Grace! What an amazing gift we have received! Why would we choose not to share it wholly with others? Because of our Adamic Nature, many times we refuse the very Hope God has given us. We must learn these virtues one by one through tribulation and hardship. Some of us learning quicker than others, we start leaning on God and His ways rather than our own.
So, who could you Forgive today? Who has manifested hatred, anger, remorse, guilt, pain, anguish, loss or inadequacy in your life? Why did they do it? Who are they to God? Even Jeffrey Dahmer had the opportunity to be loved by God. Are they without opportunity of Grace? Are you without opportunity while you haven’t forgiven them?
We are all considered deserving of God’s Grace! Not because what we have done or who we are, but because of what Jesus did FOR us on the cross. How much less do we need to sacrifice of ourselves to start forgiving someone who hurt us? It certainly isn’t our lives we will lose as Christ lost His. We may lose some pride, or anger or other feelings that wish ill will, but we would be blessed to have these removed as they serve like splinters of sin, distracting us from our predestined favor from God.
Some of the people we find on our list that truly need our forgiveness may not always be an obvious choice either. Sometimes, a person doesn’t know that they have offended us. That doesn’t change how we have allowed the offense to affect our lives. If we let that eat away at us, we lose our empathetic way to forgive and show Grace. For instance, the Governor of California is a man causing a lot of anger in many people. People are wishing him death and anguish. They are grasping at hopes he is assaulted, mamed or worse! But as Believers, we are called clearly to pray for our leaders. We must show forgiveness for a man who is simply lost in sin. We can tell by a man’s actions whether his heart is after God or after the world. We know when someone needs Christ. Would it not be of good example for us to pray for his soul rather than speak crudely about him? Let us not conform to the world in such ways that they cause us to look evil men in the eye. For when we do it is not God they will see in us but instead our sin will be our image.
Pray for those who hurt us. Seek in constant prayer the ability to manifest a true Grace just as we have been given to all those around us who don’t yet understand the Holy Righteousness that has been offered to them! These are the ways we can live our lives by which we are worthy of. Let us represent our Seat in Heavenly places where we are now and not where we will be. Open our hearts to the ones who are searching for Life. We know what the answers are to this life’s unquenchable questions. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And we are the Stewards of Light to Shine His Grace amongst the Fallen. Let us Shine so Brightly they are blinded by Love. That they have no other choice than to see their wickedness and repent just as we did when we saw the need for God’s Grace in our lives. Let us be a beacon to which people come looking for another way, a hopeful way.
We have a choice, a free will which was given by God. Let us choose forgiveness over disaccord so that we may fully accomplish this life we have been given. As Paul said, “For it is not by ourselves that we live, but by Christ that lives within us.”
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Remind one another in Faith to Forgive. We have a much better lifestyle when we do not hold onto regret or distain for others. It sets us free to enjoy the Love and Joy God provides every day. Be blessed by the Spirit knowing we have an easy yolk and light burden. It’s God’s job to judge, we have been set free from all that worry.