2 Corinthians 8:9
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
When you are wronged, offended, hurt, or inconvenienced what is your first reaction? Is it to get even, make the injustice be noticed, or are you able to extend grace to the one who offended you? The truth is, extending grace is a choice. Jesus extended grace to us on the cross and continues to extended grace to us on a daily basis. Are we as generous with giving grace to others as Jesus is to us?
Over Memorial Day weekend my family and I planned to travel to my in-laws’ home in Northern Wisconsin for a weekend of family fun. My husband was going to meet us there following a work appointment. My two older boys had headed north with my mother-in law earlier in the day. I planned to get on the road early with my little guy to beat traffic as I knew there would be a mass exodus of campers, boats and travel trailers leaving the Twin Cities area that afternoon.
Getting on the road well before our usual departure time for such weekend trips, my little guy was peacefully napping as we drove down the interstate at a snail’s pace with thousands of other weekend travelers. Taking nearly an hour and a half to go what would normally take us 40 minutes, I received a call from my husband. He had locked his keys in his car. Given it was his work vehicle and all of his vehicle assistance information was also locked in the car, he needed me to bring him the spare key – but the appointment he was at was located over an hour from us – in the opposite direction of where we were heading.
Realizing I would have to turn around and travel back past all of the traffic we just made it through, I knew I had a choice to make. With my little guy now waking up from his nap, I knew I could make my husband’s life miserable and express my frustration to him, or I could take the opportunity to extend grace and accept it could have just as easily been me who had locked the keys in the car and needed his help.
Taking a deep breath and deciding to choose grace, we stopped, plugged the new address into google maps, and headed off on our new route.
When it was all said and done, it took me nearly 5 1/2 hours that day to make a trip that usually takes 2 1/2 hours. Was it painful? Yes! But was showing grace worth it? Absolutely! My husband’s co-worker expressed her surprised when I turned back without objection. She admitted if she were in the same situation, she likely would not have done the same.
Now don’t be too impressed. There are countless times I fail to extend grace when doing so would be the right thing to do. It just happens that this is one time I got it right.
When we show grace to others the world takes notice.
It is easy to get upset. It is easy to express our hurt or frustration and demand justice. Grace on the other hand can be difficult. Grace is a choice. But showing grace can be a powerful way to maintain or restore relationships and share with others what Jesus has done for us.
How can you show grace to someone in your life today?
Never underestimate the power of being generous with grace.