Make a Choice
“The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” —1 Timothy 1:14-16
“Greater love has no one than this,” Jesus said in John 15:13, “that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Chances are, nobody has ever put a gun to your head and told you to choose between your life and somebody else’s.
But I have been in situations where:
- I had to choose between my pride, or my dignity, or my sense of accomplishment … and somebody else’s.
- I’ve had to decide whether to let somebody off the hook for a mistake or to hold them up to ridicule.
- I’ve had to decide whether to slip my arm around somebody who had a moral failure and love them in spite of it … and remember that I’ve had moral failures of my own … or keep them at arm’s length (and just to be sure, spread the story about that person’s failure).
Over and over, we face crises of grace. Again and again, the question is: Do we satisfy our own instincts, or do we let the love of Christ flow through us in that situation, and devote ourselves to looking out for the other person’s needs?
One day Jesus had a gun put to His head. Or more accurately, a nail pointed at each of His wrists. And He had to choose between His life or mine.
Jesus looked into the future and saw my sin — your sin. And yet, He said, Go ahead. Drive the nails. I love that one so much, I’d rather die than lose them.
When I have His love in its proper perspective, and I have to make a choice — I have to decide to love you … to extend grace because grace was extended to me. You may not deserve it, but I don’t either. We all need grace, and there’s nothing we can do to get it. It can only be given as a gift.
I thank God He gave it to me. And the way I thank Him is — I give it to you!
My prayer this week: Lord, I have so many opportunities to express judgment instead of grace. Please help me see people the way you see them — and extend grace the way you do.