“Mom, is it hard for you when you see her?” My daughter asked one day while we were checking out at the grocery store.
We had run into someone who was hurt years ago by a childish prank executed by hormonal freshman girls. I responded to my daughter by saying “No, I’m reminded of her grace.
Don’t We Love to Receive Grace?
You know when you receive it because it’s a big deal. You can’t believe it! Where there should have been retribution or punishment there was grace instead. Grace given when you didn’t deserve it and when justice should have prevailed. It is what we hope for from those we have wounded.
Think of a time when you know you received the sweet deal of grace.Journal about your sweet deal of grace story and your reaction and share with a friend.
Why Is It So Hard to Give Grace?
Giving grace is much harder to do especially when we have been wounded. It can make us feel like the person who hurt us has gotten away with it if we don’t execute justice. It can manifest itself in un-forgiveness, which can result in a root of bitterness that is stirred up every time we see the person.
When my mom was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer, my parents had been divorced for over 30 years. My mom had never remarried and a root of bitterness from the wounds of the divorce had grown down deep inside of her.
Occasionally we would see the bitterness leak out of her. She may have thought she was hiding it well but trying to hide bitterness is like patching up the leaky hose only to discover there’s another leak.
After my mom’s decision to forego chemotherapy or radiation and to receive palliative care, my mom had a visit in the hospital from my dad. When I got to the hospital later that afternoon after their visit, I saw something different in my mom.
I asked her how it went and she told me she had brushed her hair, put on her pink lipstick and favorite perfume (which my dad never liked) and waited for the visit from my dad.
When he arrived, there was small talk and a settling in of the decision my mom had made. As their visit was drawing to a close, my dad said he wanted to ask my mom for her forgiveness for the divorce and all that had been said or done to wound and that he knew he had caused a lot of hurt.
My mom graciously accepted his forgiveness and that was the difference I saw later that afternoon. That root of bitterness was gone. There was a peace and a sweetness now where there had been pain for over 30 years.
Showing Grace Is Hard When We’ve Been Wounded
Over the 30 years after the divorce, my mom showed grace to my dad and all of us kids benefitted from that. My mom sought a higher purpose that all of us kids would have a relationship with our dad even if she couldn’t any longer. Even in the midst of her wounding we were reminded of grace.
When you are reminded by someone’s grace like I was that day at the grocery store, you must show grace. This is what people hope for and what people want and what we all need as we learn to give grace from our wounds. And it will be hard.
You aren’t forfeiting or even forgetting the wound, you are healing it as you extend grace. The person who wounded you doesn’t win, you do. You are free from the root of bitterness and you are free to give grace.
Just as we’ve been shown grace by God as believers in Jesus, we are to show grace to others as a demonstration and a reminder of the grace of God in our lives.
If you’ve not received yet the free gift of God’s grace, you can do so right now by confessing with your mouth and believing in your heart that Jesus died on the cross for your sins (the grace given for what we naturally deserve as sinners who are separated from a Holy God by our sin) and that he was raised from the dead, sitting at the right hand of God the Father, just waiting for us to be reminders of His grace.
Now go show grace.