Today in my community group we talked about Jonah and his plea for God to pour out wrath over Nineveh after they had already repented. Read here: Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion.
Why seek vengeance or revenge against someone who has done you wrong? Probably because deep down it satisfies your flesh: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a flat tire for cheating, or a laxative for lying. The usual stuff we see in movies. But too often we forget that by giving others what we think they deserve doesn’t honor God. God says vengeance is His and above all else we should love one another, simply put we can’t call ourselves Christians if we never exhibit the love of Christ. We have to give others grace because that’s what we’ve been given.
We freely have grace because Jesus gave Himself of the cross so we wouldn’t have to pay for every mistake like Jonah wanted thousands to do. Personally, I know God gave me grace even before I knew I didn’t deserve it. I took awhile for me to understand why I didn’t deserve His grace; I was coming from a moralistic standpoint, judging my wrongs against the wrongs of others. Thankfully this life isn’t about how “good” we can be it’s about taking hold of the free gift God has so graciously given us and that’s eternal life in Christ Jesus.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9
How We Can Give Others Grace
Make a list of the people who have hurt you and think about the circumstances in their lives that could’ve brought them to that point. Maybe you’ll discover that some people are ‘rough around the edges’ for a reason. Then look at your own life, is the hurt valid or you idolizing that relationship due to your own lonely heart or brokenness?
Were you raised in a single parent home or neglected by a loved one? It’s so easy to want an explanation ‘why didn’t they want me?’ But just think about this: how far did they have to be from God to not realize your value? Were you asked to compromise your views on sex in relationships? Again, how far from God did your partner have to be to only follow through on the commandments they wanted to…or worse how far are you from God that you’re still compromising yourself when you know it’s not right? Think of all the time you didn’t get what you deserved, where would you be if you had? Probably not where you are today. So give them grace too.
Lord, Thank you for always seeing my value and wanting the best for me even when others don’t. I pray for a new set of eyes that I may see others in a different light. Give me compassion for the lost. I pray that you would not only heal my heart but bring me and [whoever has hurt you] into deeper relationship with you. Amen.