As the service at church was ending, the pastor challenged our congregation. He asked us to be “givers of grace and not just receivers of grace”. The challenge lodged in my heart.
I thought of how gladly I have been the recipient of grace. I have so often been upheld by His marvelous grace. It was by grace I was saved. It was by His grace that I have experienced the fullness of His spirit. It has been His grace that has sustained me across the years. I certainly have been a receiver of His abundant grace. But then I asked myself, how often have I been a giver of grace?
Scripture in the Book of Acts spoke to me. “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ ” (Acts 20:35). This principle surely applies to grace. May we not then be missing the greatest of blessings if we are receivers of grace only and not givers of grace also.
We live in a world that presents endless opportunities to be ‘givers of grace’. I think Matthew 25 gives a glimpse of a few such opportunities: “I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? And the king will answer them, Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (25:35-40, NKJ). Giving grace may sometimes be as simple as treating service personnel with kindness, sharing a word of encouragement, or a generous tip.
When we endeavor to give grace, let us remember the words of Jesus as He was sending His disciples out to minister. He said, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8b). The Apostle Paul gives this advice: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4: 29, ESV). This advice is echoed in Colossians: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (4:6, NIV).
Peter charges believers to be “good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (I Peter 4:10). The pastor’s challenge that Sunday morning continues to motivate me. May I now, in turn, challenge you to be a giver of grace and not just receiver of grace?
Prayer: Lord, today may I be a giver of grace in the measure that You have given grace to me.
~ Brother Roy