God is a god of second chances; this is something we know all too well as Christians. Once upon a time, we were in need of a second chance. A sinner, stained with the filth of our sin, we reached out our hands to the Savior, and He gave us grace and mercy.
But somewhere between our tears at the altar and our current state, we forget. The grace and mercy we didn’t deserve, but so desperately desired, is forgotten. We forget that the person sitting next to you in the pew needs that mercy. Instead we look at them with condemnation, forgetting where we once came from. Whatever the sin they are stuck in, we shake our heads and say something along the lines of
“I’ve tried, but they just won’t listen!”
“I’ve wasted my last breath on that person! They don’t want to be saved!”
“When they are ready, they can come to me. Until then I’m not going to waste my time on them!”
I’ve said/thought these things before…but I am eternally thankful that God never said them about me. The problem with these statements is that they are focused on the speaker’s feelings, not the subject’s needs. If a person is stuck in sin and your previous efforts aren’t working, ask God to bring to light what can help dig them out of sin.
Jesus told his disciples,
You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. (Luke 6:36 NLT)
We all need to listen to the heart of this verse. As we strive to be Holy as God is Holy, let us remember to offer the same grace and mercy that we once received.