I am reading a book called "What's so amazing about grace?". Its blowing my mind. I remember sharing with my wife, quite a while back, that I was struggling with grace and how it works. Paul's writings in Romans were spinning me in circles. I couldn't get my brain around grace. But this book is really making it come alive for me.
You see, grace isn't natural. I think that this is where I was missing the boat. All the times that I have read the parables in the gospels, and I never got 'em. The prodigal son? Didn't really get it. Thing is, I knew I didn't get it.
But, grace isn't just unnatural, its also unfair. Is it fair to forgive someone? No. It would be fair to give them justice. Is it fair to not "get somebody back" or "get even"? No. An eye for an eye. That's fair. Is it just to forgive? I don't even need to answer that.
Here is the parable that really got me. Guy owes another guy 1 million dollars. The guy he owes the money to forgives the debt. The whole thing. First guy goes out, finds a dude who owes him $5.00, and demands justice.
See, he didn't get that he had been shown grace. He didn't really get it. And, it showed when he demanded his $5 or justice. $5 compared to $1 million? Are you kidding me? But, that is what I do everyday. God forgave me. How can I not forgive?
Here's the kicker. If I don't forgive, God won't forgive me. The rest of the parable goes on to tell how the guy who forgave the million dollar debt heard what that little punk did, reinstituted the debt and had him thrown in prison for life.
But don't miss the attitude. I don't think that God is sitting there saying "If you don't forgive others, I won't forgive you. So pooey on you." No, that's not the God I know. I think its more like he is saying, "Look, I wanna forgive you. I am willing and able. But if you don't forgive others, you won't be able to accept my forgiveness. Funny thing how forgiveness works."
Did you ever forgive someone and they had a kind of "what are you forgiving me for? I didn't do anything" attitude? See, you are forgiving them, for your part. But they aren't accepting it.
Forgiveness and Grace are unnatural, unfair, and unjust. But, they are the answer to this world's problems...........and the only way to get to the next.