October 18, 2020
Do You Have a Friend that Needs Your Grace?
By Lee Ann Mancini
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, Just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. -Ephesians 4:32
Do you have a friend that needs your grace? I remember one day a friend of mine made an unfavorable remark about my husband’s weight. It really hurt me, because even though he is overweight, his heart is pure as gold. I tried to forgive and forget what she had said, but every time I saw her, those mean-spirited words always came to my mind. I discovered that sometimes it is easier to forgive than to forget.
Praise God that we have the perfect example of what we need to do in what He has done for us. “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:25, NIV). While Jesus hung on the cross, He asked the Father to forgive those who were killing Him (Luke 23:34)! It is a wonderful picture of total forgiveness.
“The living God so forgives that he forgets!” If He can forgive and forget our many sins, surely, we can forgive and forget a sinful act of a friend or even a foe.
Grace is needed in order to forgive completely. Grace is the gift of mercy and love towards those who don’t deserve it. Mephibosheth, grandson of King Saul, found himself in a situation that should have cost him his life. It was common for the reigning king to kill the bloodline of the previous king to make sure the king’s position would not be jeopardized. King David’s love for Jonathan allowed him to extend grace to Mephibosheth, who voiced his gratification when he said, “All my grandfather’s descendants deserved nothing but death from my lord the king, but you gave your servant a place among those who eat at your table” (2 Sam 19:28, NIV).
The Greek word for grace is charis. “It is significant that the most common cognates for joy (Chara, “inner joy,” and chairein, “to rejoice”) are derived from the same root— char—as in the Greek word for “grace.” Grace may be the most important word in the Bible because grace is love in action! We are to rejoice because of His loving grace and the hope we have in Christ. “We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2 CSB).
I always extend grace to my friend, because a loyal friend is a treasure beyond comprehension. A friend who forgives and loves when we deserve nothing but condemnation is a treasure that can’t be measured.
When the world says we are to judge and punish the offense, God’s word says we are to lovingly extend grace. If you think your friend was loyal before, watch how your love and grace will transform them even more!
2. Morrice, W. G. Joy. G. F. Hawthorne, R. P. Martin, & D. G. Reid (Eds.), Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press), p. 511–512.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Lee Ann Mancini is an adjunct professor at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary. She is the executive producer of the Sea Kids animation series https://seakidstv.com that helps children to build a strong foundation in Jesus.
Lee Ann’s books, The Sea Kids series, has won over 25 awards, and is a favorite among teachers, parents, and especially children! In I’m Not Afraid!, Susie and her friend go to the Undersea Amusement Park. After saying a prayer to Jesus, she rides the roller coaster and her fear turns into faith! She learns that praying to Jesus during difficult times and having faith are all she needs to overcome her fears!
Join the conversation: Do you need to forgive someone?