By Amanda Becker
With Mother’s day just behind us, I can’t help but to think back on ones in the past.
The one that I remember most clearly is when my husband so sweetly gave me a card, some of my favorite candy and a bouquet of half dead tulips. Half dead tulips… it was not exactly what every mother hopes for on her big day. I can tell you; I was just a little disappointed. If you know my husband, you know that he’s very loving and compassionate, but not great on details. This is not to harp on him at all! I tell you this story because I’ve realized something about myself. When I look back on that Mother’s day I can honestly say: “I love receiving grace, but boy, do I hate giving it!”
Grace was the last thing I wanted to give my husband when he handed me those wilted and faded flowers. I wanted to ask him, “what were you thinking? Don’t I mean more to you and some dead tulips?” It’s so easy to become hurt, disappointed or even angry when we feel that others didn’t live up to our expectations. Luke 6:36 says, “Be Merciful, even as your father is merciful.” (ESV)
The tough reality is that we’re not to just give grace when we feel up to it or when it comes easy for us. We’re commanded to give grace to all and in any circumstance. Can you imagine if our God had decided to withhold grace from us and gave us the justice we really deserved?
Christ was the ultimate gift of grace! We were not deserving, yet he was merciful towards us and gave lovingly. Titus 3:5-7 says, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (NIV)
I for one love justice. I take comfort in the idea that those who work hard and are honest get the job, the raise and the reward. God doesn’t always administer justice in the way we think he should. Lets be real for a moment. Praise God he doesn’t give justice as I would give it! I personally would be without hope for sure.
Just as the Lord continues to show us mercy and grace each day, we are to show others that same grace. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. - Luke 6:36 (ESV) There are going to be times when others disappoint you, belittle you and receive the reward or gift that you worked so hard for. Though we may not understand why, we are called to mirror Christ at all times.
Friends, lets be conscious about giving grace to others. Lets love others with a merciful love as Christ has called us to do. You never really know what someone is going through, what we don’t see about that person or situation that God does see.
What you wouldn’t know about my husband that Mother’s day I didn’t tell you is that he had been pretty sick for almost a week. He braved the crowds not just weak and running a fever, but with our rambunctious two-year-old to make sure I had something that day. Once he was better, he unexpectedly went and bought me something he knew I had been really wanting.
Even if he had not made up for buying those sad little flowers, grace was needed. That’s the frustrating thing about grace, it’s not typically deserved, but by showing grace to others we’re not just obeying our God, we’re giving back what was undeservingly given to us!
Word of the day
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7 (ESV)
Heavenly Father we are so thankful that you showed us grace on the day you sent your only son to die for our sins. Each day you continue to show us grace and mercy. We don’t deserve it, but you do it because you love us. Please forgive us when we’ve failed to show others that same grace. We pray that grace would become our first reaction towards others. We ask that you would give us a mindful heart towards others. In your name we pray, Amen.