This will probably be the shortest of all the posts in this “Journey to Understand Grace” blog series…
I have been plagued in my mind lately with a simple question: “How long should grace be offered/shown to someone?” How long? When should it end? How many times do we need to show someone grace before we stop?
How long should grace be offered/shown to someone?
The question might be simple enough, but the answer is definitely not.
Answer: Grace should never end…we should never stop being willing to offer/show grace to someone.
Throughout this journey I’ve been on to understand grace, I have been amazed at how incredible and amazing and so much more encompassing I have found grace to be. Even talking about the the pain and hurt we can experience when we show grace (The Pain of Grace), it was still amazing to realize how in-depth grace is and the effect it can have on us. Grace is truly an amazing thing.
But doesn’t the phrase “all good things come to an end” apply to grace as well?
If grace is dependent on our human strength, then yes it will come to an end. However, God’s grace does not come to an end. God continues to extend his grace to us no matter what we do or how far we wander from him. Like the father in the story of the Prodigal Son that I’ve referenced a few times in this blog series, he is waiting for us to return to him and runs to embrace us when we do.
Does God discipline his children when they do wrong? Yes…because he loves us, and any parent knows the reason we discipline our children is because we love them enough to teach them and help them grow (Proverbs 3:11-12). But even in disciple, grace is present. Parents still love their kids even when disciplining them, and God definitely still loves us when he has to discipline us.
Showing grace continually does not indicate that we are weak or that others can take advantage of us. Rather, it shows that we are willing to still show love and mercy and kindness and forgiveness and understanding and patience far beyond what is commonly seen and experienced in this world…and what we are capable to show solely based on our own strength.
God’s grace never ends, no matter what we have done or will do. God’s forgiveness is always offered to us, he always loves us, and he will forever be there for us to run to when we walk away.
We are to love as he loved, forgive as he forgave, show others the same mercy he showed us, etc. God calls us as his followers to show grace to the world around us…the same grace he offers us.
Continual unending grace
my journey to understand grace began with this post: The Irony of Grace