Responding with grace
“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.” 2Pe 3:18 NIV
Jesus told His disciples, “Since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow” (Jn 13:14-15 NLT). Whose feet did He wash? Peter, who denied Him; Thomas, who doubted Him; Judas, who betrayed Him; and all the others, who would desert Him. In other words, “Give the grace you’ve been given.” You don’t endorse the deeds of your offender when you do. Jesus didn’t endorse your sins by forgiving you. Grace doesn’t tell the daughter to like the father who molested her. It doesn’t tell the oppressed to wink at injustice. The grace-defined person still sends thieves to jail and expects an ex-spouse to pay child support. Grace isn’t blind. It sees the hurt full well. But grace chooses to see God’s forgiveness even more. It refuses to let hurts poison the heart. The Bible says, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Heb 12:15 NIV). Where grace is lacking, bitterness abounds. Where grace abounds, forgiveness grows. Peter writes, “Grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord.” Growing in Bible knowledge is a lot easier than growing in grace toward those who hurt you. The first requires a good memory; the second requires a Christlike character. So how do you “grow” in grace? By practicing it with everybody you meet, in every situation you find yourself.