Even when others hurt us, grace must be granted to them

By: Lisa Wilmore

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

It is important to remember that even when others hurt us, grace must be granted to them. Because Christ extends grace to us, we must extend grace to others, also. Oftentimes, we will find ourselves giving more than the average person, only to discover that we have been stretched beyond the norm because of the sacrifices made to help them. In fact, the sacrifice of our time and resources, which are given to aid them in their endeavors and aspirations, never produce kindness to us.

Many can explain and share the definition of grace, which is defined as God’s unmerited (not deserved) favor. But, how does this look from a practical view? In other words, how do we apply “unmerited favor” to those who mistreat or ill-treat us? It is true that individuals do not earn our love, kindness, or forgiveness. However, God expects us to grant grace to them anyway. Since God grants us unconditional forgiveness, we must grant unconditional forgiveness to others as well. Just as God forgave us through his Son, Jesus, we must give grace to others by forgiving them.

Paul writes to the church of Colossae to “bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13 NIV). When we take inventory of our lives and note the extension of God’s grace to us, it should make it easier to extend grace to our enemies, loved ones, family members, etc. There may be persons who we feel do not deserve our forgiveness; but, we do not deserve God’s forgiveness either.

My friends, the Hebrew writer shares in the word of God what happens when we fail to extend grace. God’s word says, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrew 12:15). We must realize that others are affected by our unforgiveness but not as much as our unforgiveness affects us. So, it is essential that we clear up the bitterness in our hearts and forgive church members, friends, family members, and others.

Yes, others may hurt us, but grant them grace. Jesus forgave us far beyond what we deserve. On a personal note, I thank God for extending his grace to me, even though I was not extending grace to individuals who I felt had misused me. I ask for his forgiveness as well as others, “Thank you God for leading and guiding me through your word”.