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Pointers along the way #34

Do we really know grace?
- Jacob Ninan

What? Love our enemies? Do good to those who hate us? Bless those who curse us? Let someone who has already taken away our coat take our shirt too? (Lk.6:27-30). What rubbish! How unreasonable! How silly and tame! Is that how we feel? Then we have not understood grace at all.

The question is if we want God to deal with us the same way we want to treat others - taking revenge, teaching them a lesson, showing them who we really are and what we can do, letting them know that they can't get away with it, etc. Surely not. We want God to be merciful to us, forgive us our sins, bless us in spite of what we have done and how we have been, etc. Then why is it that we don't want be like that to the others?

Perhaps it has not sunk into our heads how much mercy God has had to show towards us! How patient He has had to be towards us. How He has had to overlook what we really deserve when He gave us abundantly of many blessings. How He has had to set aside His feelings of anger and revulsion towards our sins when He came to embrace us. How He would not listen to His sense of righteousness and justice when He wanted to do good to us.

Perhaps we have never understood this at all. Perhaps we just 'accepted' Jesus into our hearts and thought that now we were safe from hell. Or perhaps we have been forgetful of how God has treated us.

If God has been gracious to us, how can we hard towards the others? This is the point Jesus tried to bring, again and again. See Mt.18:23-35, and many other passages.