I had a gym card and lost it. It vanished like a ghost never to be seen again, it seemed. To replace the card, it cost me five dollars. Once I had paid for a replacement, I shuffled some books on my desk and there was my lost gym card, waving hello to me.
Ed, my old neighbour had no sympathy for me as he said, “That is just the first time you have lost that card, you are forever losing keys, glasses, cards and even your ball cap.” When you want a little encouragement, it is hard to find.
It was one of those weeks when I felt like I was drowning in computer problems. I use my computer happily, until it freezes, or it crashes, or it is scammed, or it is hacked, then I need help and feel that all hope is gone for me and my computer, maybe forever. My solution is to take it to those who can restore my computer to life.
Usually what I lose does show up eventually, but I did have a library book that I could not find as it went extinct while under my care. I offered to pay for my lost book, but the librarian graciously let me go without paying for its replacement. I do not know why she showed me mercy and didn’t charge me.
I told Ed that it felt strange that the librarian was kind to me. He agreed that when others don’t demand a payment from us as they could, we do feel confused. Our everyday world does not encourage us to be merciful or forbearing when it comes to collecting what others owe us.
When I need my sick computer checked and restored to life, I pay for the help of others and their experience to fix it. I do not expect unlimited kindness when it comes to money owed for fixing my computer, as it would be a fast root to bankruptcy for those who fixed it. They deserve to be paid for their work on my computer. Most would agree that is only right and fair.
Here on earth we sin and can’t fix it, so that we ourselves, others and all things are not totally right and fair. Jesus set God’s way of being right and fair through God’s grace and mercy before us. Grace is God’s undeserved gift for us.
Grace and mercy tend to go against the grain of our lives. We want others to get what they deserve. We are quick to say that it is your own fault. Others must suffer the consequences of their actions.
When we are pulled over by the police for speeding, we are not quick to say to the officer; “It is my own fault give me a ticket and let me pay my fine right now!” We are hoping for grace and mercy from the police officer. We hope to be let go without a ticket and paying a fine.
God wants us to know that in Jesus He gives us grace, undeserved forgiveness, and He does not give us hell as we deserve as sinners. Some argue that they never speed, and some argue that they never sin. We are all sinners guilty before God. God wants to give us His grace or undeserved forgiveness.