I’ve experienced it several times – the miracle in the Starbucks’ drive-thru line. That thrilling experience when you order your drink, pull around to the window, and the barista announces that the person in front of you paid for your coffee.
My first reaction is always “Wow! That’s awesome!” Then almost as quickly I think, “Man, I should have ordered a venti!”
Somewhere in there my gratitude fosters a desire to buy the coffee for the next person in line. But before I pull out my wallet I check out the vehicle behind me to make sure it’s not a 12-passenger van carrying a high school basketball team.
I mean, I want to pass along the blessing, but there are limits.
As believers, we have an abundant supply of His grace. In Ephesians 1:3-8, Paul beautifully describes the overflowing nature of God’s grace towards us. We have been lavished with the riches of His grace!
The Greek word “lavished” in Ephesians 1:8 means to “exceed, to exist in abundance, to be left over, to abound, to overflow, to furnish richly so that one has an abundance.”
We have more grace than we need. In fact, we are swimming in it! Yet, so often we hold it back from others.
Ironic isn’t it, that those of us who have been so richly blessed by the miracle of God’s grace are so hesitant to share it. Why is that?
In his book “Putting a Face on Grace,” Richard Blackaby makes a profound statement:
“We are not called to just bathe in grace; we are called to shower it upon others. Grace has not been fully experienced until it is fully expressed to others. The deeper our understanding of grace, the more we see the necessity of making it the fabric of our lives.”
I believe one of the primary reasons we fail to be people of grace is that we have failed to recognize how desperately we need it ourselves. We underestimate the depth of God’s grace working in our own lives. If we truly understood the magnitude of God’s grace to us, we wouldn’t dare withhold it from those around us.
I think another reason we are stingy with gracious words and actions is that – whether we will admit it or not – we don’t feel the other person “deserves it.” And you know what? Often they don’t. But you know what else? We don’t deserve God’s grace either. It’s just that simple.
God calls us to be people of grace. To “live a life worthy of the calling we have received” (Ephesians 4:1). Let’s reflect on the depth of our own need for His grace to foster and attitude of gratitude. Let’s open our hands and extend His grace to others.
Have you been a bit stingy with God’s grace? Is there someone in your life who needs to experience it today?