Have you ever done something wrong? Seems like a simple question with a simple answer, but why is it we forget that when it comes time to overlook someone else’s mistake. Grace to make a mistake is something we want to receive but many times are not as willing to give. Maybe we need to extend a little more grace. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As the season winds down the real estate at the front of the field becomes the place everyone wants to be. The challenge is in the methods used to get there. At times it seems all respect for other competitors is thrown out the window as long as you can gain that coveted spot. I am not a fan of throwing it in, see what sticks and asking for forgiveness later.
Let me set the record straight, we all make mistakes. We all make choices that, at the time, seem right but in retrospect they were not the correct ones. The way we handle them determines our motives. We can ignore them and walk away or we can take responsibility for them.
As we take a look back, we can remember several occasions over the past few months that mistakes on and off the track have been made. At the moment when they occurred it seemed the whole season hinged on them. After a little time passed their significance has waned; we have moved on. Those are the ones that are easy to deal with. Other mistakes take on a life of their own.
Some are not truly mistakes but maybe a little creative rules interpretation. Penalties are levied and corrections are made. We move on or at least we are supposed to. Some of us have longer memories than others.
Some mistakes linger because the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. We are left to wonder what is truly right and wrong. When that happens, the doubt created can lead to questions and disagreements.
Some never seem to be dealt with so they linger and fester. These types affect relationships and are the most destructive. No matter what the situation was, when mistakes are made, they need to be corrected. We need to take responsibility for them and seek forgiveness. We also need to extend the grace of forgiveness. We then need to forget about it and move on.
Forgive and forget; a familiar refrain, but one of the most difficult things for us to do. Many things are said when you try to encourage people to be gracious; we want to get back at the person who wronged us. We have a need to get even. We have our rights and no one is going to take advantage of us. We say that we forgive but we will never forget. We tend to be unforgiving, ungracious people when it comes to others, but we want to have grace extended to us; we want to be forgiven.
Let’s take a look at what God says about this issue. God’s rules never change and His standard is always the same. God does not accept our “mistakes”. God is right and just and when we act in a way that breaks His moral standard we sin. Sin is not something that God can accept. God says all sins are the same, big, small doesn’t matter they all fall into the category of missing the mark. We all have done it and all will have to pay the penalty.
Romans 3:23; There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
And the penalty is the same;
Romans 6:23a; For the wages of sin is death,
But look at the rest of that verse and we start to see what God intends for us.
Romans 6:23b; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God said I will make a way for your “mistakes” to be forgiven; I will send My Son, Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for you.
John 3:16-18; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Extending grace and forgiving those who have wronged us goes a long way toward restoring peace. Jesus was the ultimate peacemaker. He gave his life so that we could have peace with God. Jesus came, suffered, died and rose again so that the penalty for our sin would be paid in full. We can receive that payment by accepting it. It is a gift from God.
Ephesians 2:8-9; For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.
God provided this opportunity by extending to us His grace and we can receive it by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. When we do, we make peace with God, we restore our relationship with Him, our sin is forgiven and remembered no more.
As the season comes to an end, take a look back and see if there are some people we need to extend the grace of forgiveness to. We are expected to be gracious as God is gracious to us. That means not because we deserve it but because He loves us. Forgive not because they deserve it, but because God forgave us.
We cannot experience the full blessing of God if we refuse to extend grace to others. Our unwillingness to forgive implies that our standard is greater than God’s. That is not correct; God’s standard is the only one that counts. If God is willing to extend the grace of forgiveness to us there is no reason we could have for not forgiving others. Make that commitment this week. Commit that you will go to the people you have refused to forgive and forgive them. Don’t worry if they refuse to accept it, many have refused to accept the forgiveness that God offers. We are not called to make people accept our forgiveness, but to offer the gift. Offer the gift of grace to someone today. Make the effort to make things right, no matter how difficult it seems.
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support and donations helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.