“The grace you have received is greater than the grace you are being asked to give.”- Kyle Idleman
Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ “- Matthew 18:32-33
As Kyle Idleman concludes Chapter 4 of Grace Is Greater, he wonders if we, like Peter (Matthew 18:21) want to question Jesus about forgiveness. For example, at what point does the hurt done to me exceed the grace you want me to give? When does grace run out?
The answer? Never. Grace is greater. Perhaps we accept this fact on an intellectual level, although the equation doesn’t seem to work. Yet, even though forgiveness doesn’t feel possible, we must agree to try.
Jesus, Pastor Idleman stresses, made it clear that if you receive God’s grace you can’t then refuse to give it to others. Yes, Kyle knows, it’s not a simple or fair process. Simply show the willingness to take the first step. And although you’d at least like an explanation, you feel it’s not fair to let the offense go. As Kyle explains, “it’s not fair, it’s grace (emphasis Kyle’s).”
Next, Kyle describes the effects of conditional grace:
“When you make grace dependent on the actions of the person who hurt you, you need to find a different word because it’s not grace. With grace, the person doesn’t fix the consequences of their sin, you take the consequences of their sin. That’s not fair. That’s not right. But it is exactly what Jesus did for you.”
In conclusion, Kyle states the more you understand the holiness of God- as well as understanding yourself- the more you realize this truth. You realize “the grace you have received is greater than the grace you are being asked to give.”
Today’s question: As you reflect on the grace Christ’s extended to you, how does that change your equation? Please share.
Coming Monday: the new Short Meditation, “God made you to flourish”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Choking our resolve to forgive”