Walking through the woods last week, my friend and I came across some 4 leaf clovers. I considered myself to be extremely lucky but she told me that it’s only lucky if you give it away to someone else.
“Oh man”, I thought, “Christianity in a nutshell”.
We may not always live like it but being a Christ follower means that we have been freely given grace, mercy, forgiveness and most of all love. Yet, what is it worth if you hoard those things and tuck them away only for yourself?
He gives us grace – a gift of life eternal
He gives us mercy – no punishment for repentant sin
He gives us forgiveness – He’s not going to keep bringing up past hurts (like I tend to do)
He gives us love – a love without strings attached, wider than the sky and deeper than the ocean
But there is a catch. If you have been forgiven, forgive others. If you have received mercy, extend it to others. If you have experienced grace, give others a chance to experience grace. Then, and only then will you have the chance, maybe even the right, to tell others about God’s unending grace, mercy and forgiveness that is so beyond our feeble human limits.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
And love…..did I forget love? No, it’s just that it is the hardest one to live out in our society. Can I love the one with the gun in a high rise window, or the one driving a truck on a crowded street or the one in the pilot’s seat of the jet streaking towards a tower housing multiple offices and thousands of employees?
Too much to ask? Let’s bring it down a bit. Can I love my coworker whose snippy comments are driving me crazy? How about the one loud mouth relative who has the capacity to ruin every family gathering and often does? Can I still reach out in friendship to the person down the street who plastered his yard with political slogans last election year that I disagreed with? It’s not going to be easy but He tells me that with His help, it is possible.
And so I keep trying.
I will share the next four leaf clover I find so I can share that luck. But every day I can share love. Whether it is accepted or not, I can share love. And grace, and mercy and forgiveness, but most of all love.
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you.