We’ve all done it. We aren’t paying attention and we accidentally cut someone off on the freeway. Sheepishly we wave our hand in apology and continue on. Or we turnaround while we are walking and bump into some unsuspecting stranger. Hastily we say we’re sorry and go along our way. Perhaps we snap at someone, not because of anything they said, but because of our previous night’s lack of sleep and without even making any pretense of making it right, we assume they’ll understand. After all, we all have bad days.
The remarkable thing about all of these circumstances is that when we are the offender we are quick to accept our justification for the turn of events. That’s because it’s easy to recognize our own motivations and to believe that one ill-advised action doesn’t translate into a nefarious character. We know we didn’t mean any harm, and we trust that others will know that too. How often we extend that grace to others though is the real testament to the quality of our character. Do we forgive without being asked? Or do we search for an explanation that doesn’t concede malfeasance? Do we extend to others the presumption of grace or do we demand an account for every grievance?
Christ said, “with the measure you use, you will be measured.” (Luke 6:37) When we all stand to give an account to God, let us hope that He looks at our lives and sees a preponderance of grace. For we know that the only reason we get to spend an eternity with Him is the abundance of grace He lavished on us (Eph. 2: 8-9).