Pay It Forward: Giving Grace to Others - 5

Posted by Rob Gerber on

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT

One of the best ways to understand God’s grace is to begin to practice it ourselves. These verses give us three practical ways to do that.

Forgive: “...forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” We need to give people the freedom to make mistakes. It is not our job to make people pay for all their mistakes. We are not the sin police. If people sin and you see it or it affects you, forgive them. Sometimes we need to address the issue, but do it with a heart that wants reconciliation, not retribution.

Forget: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior.” Learn to give people a second chance. When Bret Favre was a struggling young quarterback, Coach Mike Holmgren called him into his office. Favre thought he was going to get benched, but Holmgren told him, “You’re my guy. If you succeed, I’ll succeed.” Learn to see the potential in people. Be a cheerleader, not a finger-pointer.

Fortify: “Instead, be kind to one another, tenderhearted...” Give people a reason to smile. My wife Sue sometimes pays the bill for the people behind her in the drive-up at McDonalds. Grace means being kind to people for no apparent reason. God does this with you all the time. Learn to practice random acts of kindness.

Submitted by:
Rob Gerber
Cedarcreek Community Church
Eau Claire, Wisconsin

One-Year Bible Reading
Jeremiah 22:1-23:20
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
Psalm 83:1-18
Proverbs 25:11-14

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SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: Unless otherwise identified, Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible © The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are from the Holy, Bible, New International Version, copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society; (KJV) are from the Authorized or King James Version of the Bible; (LB) are from The Living Bible © 1971 by Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL; (TM) are from The Message © 1993 by NavPress Publishers; (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publisher, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
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