Any relationship is going to require a Grace Card. That’s because we are destined to fail each other over and over again. We will fail each other because we are fallible, and we will fail without even trying, because our expectations are always too high for the other to meet.
One of Christ’s disciples once asked Him how many times he should forgive his brother, “Seven times?” he suggested. That probably seemed like a lot to him. “Try seventy times seven,” Jesus replied (Matthew 18:22 The Message).
Now I don’t think Jesus meant by this that we were to literally count up all the times we have forgiven someone and as soon as we get to 490, say “Okay, that’s it. I’m not forgiving you anymore!” I think what He meant was: if you’re going to put a number on it, make sure it’s a number too big to keep track of.
Or better yet, how about a credit card with an unlimited forgiveness account — an account Jesus opened on the cross? An account we can draw on as much as we need, for ourselves, and for those who offend us, or sin against us, or disappoint us, or let us down? You’ve already got one if you’ve been to the cross. Why not activate yours today?
This does not mean we are not accountable to one another. This does not mean we aren’t honest when we are hurt, or when we hurt someone. It means that when we do, it’s not a lesson in futility. We have a card to swipe that takes away our sin — that wipes the slate clean and gives us another chance. Believe me we’ll need it. I keep mine out all the time. I don’t even bother putting it away.
Grace Card — grace for you, and grace for everyone else. You need it; they need it. Grace Card: Don’t leave home without it. (Don’t go home without it, either. That’s probably where we need it the most!)
I heard a message recently which suggested sometimes we confuse forgiveness for amnesty. I recall they attributed forgiveness to a person who is going to be accountable for their actions and has a desire to change. Where amnesty would allow the person to keep on living with the same hurtful behaviors. Can someone add to this ? Where is thinking correct… Where is it wrong.
I don’t understand the question you are asking – can you clarify please?
Why are we so miserly with the grace Jesus has so freely given us? We try to hoard it for ourselves and it winds up dried up or rotten, like the manna the Israelites were gifted with in the desert. Grace has to be used immediately for it to give life, just like the manna.
Sometimes I think we are most miserly in extending grace to ourselves.
Not sure about this, but I Believe amnesty is a blanket pardon given usually to a group of people (some may be guilty, some may be not) and usually for political reasons. Forgiveness is more individual and includes confession if we are to experience it, but on the cross, Jesus has forgiven everybody. Though we’ve been forgiven already, we don’t experience that forgiveness until we confess and claim it. (1 John 1:9)