That’s what we need: way more grace. We have received so much grace from God in Jesus, yet we struggle to share that grace with others. Love and forgiveness toward others is a core part of following Christ and demonstrating the character of Jesus…
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
We hope the answer will be, “Enough’s enough.” That’s how we think, right? There is a limit to our tolerance of others, and this can be an even firmer limit with people close to us at times. It’s a lack of grace, isn’t it?
Well, multiply that by 10 in a social distancing and self-isolation mode. COVID-19 is stretching our tolerance. This is especially true as many of us are cooped up in homes or having school years cancelled.
Lucy had to tell a guy with his kids to back-off in a line up at a store the other day. When people get too close to those who are managing social distance carefully, it’s going to get ugly.
The root of Peter’s question is grace. How much grace should I show toward others? The answer is more. Way more.
I was sharing with Lucy that I lack grace in a certain and specific area the other day. I said, “I don’t have a lot of grace for people…” and before I could finish Lucy jumped in with, “Oh I know!” She took my specific grace struggle and made it a character flaw… one which we all share.
That’s the point. We all need way more grace.
Jesus goes on in this chapter to tell a story of a person who received grace and didn’t pass it on. The bottom line is that if we receive grace and then fail to pass it on to others, God will have less grace toward us. Uh-oh.
Seventy-seven times. Which really means continually. There is no end to the grace God has shown us in Christ Jesus. So pass it on. Forgive each other. Don’t hold grudges. Get along. In Jesus’ name.