Last post I talked about God’s grace. His grace is a gift of forgiveness, salvation offered not through our own deeds, and everlasting life. But what does it mean to extend grace to one another?
Grace is God’s favor and mercy. We are made in His image (Genesis 1:26) and able to extent grace in a similar manner. If we are to extend grace to one another it would make sense that for us, it would also be extending favor and mercy to one another. That leads us back to one of the gifts that God gives use through His grace, forgiveness.
When we extend grace to one another, we are offering forgiveness. It does not mean that we have forgotten what happened. Instead it means that we are not going to hold that over someone for years to come. It means that we are moving forward instead of letting that incident hold us back.
Why should we forgive? Forgiving is hard, but we are to forgive as He forgives us. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins,” Matthew 6:14-15. Just like we love because God loves us (1 John 4:19). So we forgive and love like God because we are made in His image.
But how many times should we forgive? There is no limit. The Word says seventy-seven times or seventy times seven, depending on which version you’re reading (Matthew 18:21-22). God does not put a limit on how many times He forgives us, so we should not put a limit on how often we forgive others. In forgiving, we are choosing to not let the trespasses of others be used against them, just as God does not use our trespasses against us.
Grace is something we should learn to accept and give. It’s part of having relationships, whether with God or with each other. Be willing to forgive, my lovelies. That does not mean forget. God doesn’t forget what we’ve done, but he does forgive us.