I am unable to give grace when I am hurt
When I am hurt, I am terribly hurt. I grieve, and I nurture my wounds. I fester it and pat it, I make a green house for it and check on it now and then to nourish and water it. I sympathize at the “poor me.” I steer clear of the person who wounded me, having nothing to do with them and if at all possible, think of all the ways I can get back at them or attack them ( subtly, maybe with an attitude or a sarcastic word or better yet with a silent treatment.) Oh come on, you know what I am talking about. We are all capable of making the other person know, we are hurt and now that you have hurt me, I am going to make you pay for it by my silent treatment or my attitude.
Why should I give grace to this person who has hurt me?
Simple… because the bible tells me so!
This is the standard to which Christ has called us. He gives us grace when we do not deserve it (while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us Romans 5:8) He has called us to imitate His nature, His holiness, His standards as his dearly loved children (Ephesians 5:1).
What does giving grace looks like ?
First of all, I will not live with the notion that this person who wronged me does not deserve my love or respect: Bible calls me to submit one to another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). Me? to submit to the one who is less spiritual than me? Yes, sister, that is the standard Christ has called you to live. It clearly says in the bible, that we should please our neighbor for his good to build him up (Romans 15:2). The question is not whether they deserve your respect or not, the question is, you are blood bought to the service of building others up, PERIOD!
To consider others better than myself (Phil 2:3): I know that is a hard one for most of us. There is no way I could see that person better than myself. I hear you. I had difficulty with that verse too. Believe me,I simply could not see the goodness in some people especially if they wronged me until I asked God to show me my own sinfulness, and to break me with my own folly (boy, it was ugly!) Then I was humbled enough to see my ugliness and God’s goodness in them. The Corinthian church was full of error, sexual sins, and what not. Yet, Paul was humble enough to see God working in them. If a man like Paul could be humble enough to see God’s grace in a sinful church, I think the people who have wronged me are much better than the Corinthian church people, and I am obviously not saintly as Paul. So that helps me think of others as better than myself.
To think of myself as a worse sinner equally deserving grace: There are countless sins God has forgiven me and who am I to withhold grace from someone?
What is the result of giving grace to the one who does not deserve it?
God’s word says in 2 Cor 4: All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Whenever I show grace, I am reaching more and more people with grace, and they will thank God, and this will result in glory to God. I can nurture and feed my own hurts and be full of myself and prevent grace from coming through me. But I am becoming a stagnant puddle. I will rot, I will die! Whereas if I, though hurting choose to give grace, I am becoming a body of overflowing water, I give life wherever I flow into. Whoever I touch, I am giving life. It is true, I have had to bite my tongue and ask God for grace to practice giving grace, it is not easy, but it is heavenly!