“His master called the first servant and said, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you appealed to me. Shouldn’t you also have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’” — Matthew 18:32-33
How you receive a gift reveals your heart. It shows if you’re a taker or a giver.
In Jesus’ parable, a servant was forgiven an extravagant debt. He turns around and strong-arms a fellow servant who owed him a paltry sum. The “wicked servant” had gotten what he wanted from the master and now he was looking to take what was owed him by his fellow worker.
The reality is that you can receive all the grace you want, but unless you allow the gift to change your heart, then it really wasn’t grace. It was something you were after, something you could use, to get on with the life you were living.
True grace is experiencing something that turns you from being a taker to being a giver.
If you’re overwhelmed by forgiveness, then to whom can you offer forgiveness?
If you’ve been encouraged, then to whom can you offer encouragement?
If someone has been patient with you, then who can you be patient with?
If someone has believed the best in you, then what gifts can you see in another person and help bring them out?
True grace comes with a price tag.
As you have received, so must you give.
This is really difficult to do because we can focus on what we’ve been given instead of on the person who gave it.
Who are the biggest givers you know, people who are gracious without asking anything in return?
They’re our biggest role models as fulfill our grace-obligation.
Jesus, of course, tops the list.