I have been giving much thought about the gift of grace and continue still because of a recent incident in my life.
Someone, I will call this person “Agnes”, had given me their tithe check with the specific instructions not to deposit it until the next day. She just happened to be in the office that day and gave it to me saying she would be in dire straits if I deposited it that day because pay day was the next day. I said that I understood and would not deposit it that day and I would wait until the next day. So, you understand that I understood the situation very well.
If you know me at all, you will know that I am a creature of habit. I eat the same breakfast every morning, oatmeal, 99% of the time when I am at home. I take the same route to work every day. I generally go to bed at the same time and I wake up at the same time. I guess I am just geared for routine.
So, on that day I was told to not deposit that check, you guessed it, I deposited that check. I just went about my day, did my routine, and deposited the check. I did not realize this until “Agnes” emailed me about what I had done. Do you just ever feel really stupid? I apologized and said I would do whatever I needed to make it right, but again this was through email. What I hate about emailing and texting is that there is no emotion involved. I did not know how this person felt. The email sounded polite and to the point, but were they raging mad at me, entirely disgusted, want to never talk to me again, etc. Worst of all, would this hurt our relationship?
On top of that, I would not be able to talk face to face with this person for another week. I struggled through that week. When I do something wrong, I want to make it right as soon as possible. So, I waited out that week, anxious to know what I needed to do to make things right. It was a long week.
When I saw “Agnes” for the first time after this horrible week, she smiled at me and seemed genuinely happy to see me. I apologized again and asked what I need to do. She said she decided I did not need to do anything, just forget about it. Everything inside me wanted to do something. I did not deserve this kindness. The other side of me was mad that I was not allowed to do anything to fix the situation. So, I struggled with that response too for about a week.
I have heard many times that grace is God’s unmerited favor. He, the God of the entire universe, gives it to me freely. I do not deserve it. I have done nothing to earn it. I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, so I have God’s grace. I have heard this and I thought I had received it by faith. Then this happens and I am having a hard time receiving grace from another believer.
But, think about it. How do we see, experience, feel, and know God’s grace? We are the hands, feet, and voice of our Lord Jesus Christ to every other person on this earth, particularly to those who do not have a personal relationship with Him. Our Lord freely gives us grace to freely give others grace. So, I ponder, what am I doing with this gift of God’s grace?
So, “Agnes”, thanks for the lesson about God’s grace. Thanks for being willing to be used by Christ. Love you!