Grace from Obedience Not FeelingsAug 28, 2022
On Sunday, I had the opportunity to speak at Cross Point in our Light Series. I spoke on Light being embodied by Grace. I talked about the importance for those of us who have received grace to extend it to others. For years I looked at grace as something that would change the people to whom I gave it. What I’ve realized recently is that grace changes me as I give it.
Here is an excerpt of the message:
The supernatural ability of grace is not just its ability to transform the person you extend it to. The supernatural ability of grace is its ability to transform you, as you extend it.
God calls us to give grace as much for us as for those to which we are called to give it.
Here is the deal today…you will not always feel like doing this. This is a difficult way to live. Not holding a grudge will be difficult. Accepting the unacceptable will not be easy. Overcoming resentment and bitterness will not be popular. There will be times that the last thing you feel like doing is forgiving.
Your husband owes you. Your mom let you down. Your wife broke your trust. Your dad abused you. You will not always feel like giving grace.
Often, extending grace is more about obedience than it is about feelings.
Doesn’t giving grace just excuse their choice to hurt me? Don’t they in a sense just get away with that they’ve done when I give them grace? How can that be fair?
Grace doesn’t excuse their behavior; grace prevents their behavior from hardening your heart.
When I got home, Trisha told me a story of a woman that goes to our church. Every year for the past several years this grace-giving woman has chosen to overcome her feelings and be obedient to something she feels God has called her to do.
A few days before Christmas, she loads her four kids up and drives them several states away. She drops them off at their dad’s house so they can spend Christmas day with their dad, while she stays with her sister. This would be a sacrifice under normal circumstances. But this is grace at a different level.
He had an affair. He left her and married the woman with whom he had the affair. Out of obedience to what she feels God has laid on her heart, she drives her kids all the way to him (them) so her kids can have the memory of Christmas with their father.
Does she feel like it? I’d bet money that she doesn’t. But what she does every time she makes that drive is she disarms the power of resentment and bitterness. She releases the control of someone’s choice to affect her heart. She doesn’t validate his choice, she chooses to not allow his choice to define her and ruin her. She extends grace.
Grace may never change him, but it changes her.