And as I entered the ministry, I didn't often see grace among church members. I saw anger, resentment, racism, and elitism; but little grace. I had a woman in my office today describing her upbringing and she used the words, "there was no grace." My wife and I have recently reached out to a couple of young people who have made some missteps in their lives. One feels and complete rejection from "the church," and the other feels rejection from their "Christian" family.
I remember being at a congregation where a young lady responded on Sunday asking the church for forgiveness for a sexual relationship that had become public. I had one person say to me, "the only reason she responded was because she got caught." My response was "well praise God she got caught!"
In 2 Samuel, David received a great promise from God. God had promised to establish a kingdom through the linage of David that would stand forever. Because of Gods promise, David knelt in reverence declaring the sovereignty of God. For all intents and purposes, David had reached a pinnacle in life that few ever reach. But when David reached that pinnacle, he did what many others do: he fell. He committed a sexual sin with Bathsheeba and murdered her husband in the process of trying to cover it up.
In chapter 12 we read where David was rebuked. Without going over the whole story, when David realized he was busted, he repented. And guess what God did? FORGAVE! But what did it take? It took him getting caught to realize the magnitude of his sin.
I guess I am rambling, but the point I am trying to make is that we need to make sure that the church is a place people can find grace. The Christian home is a place where children should find grace. I am not saying that we should use this a permission to let people sin or children disobey; but when they do we should take the opportunity to show grace. How can people ever understand God's grace if they don't see it from God's people?
When people are brought face to face with their sin, it is not rejection they need. It is love, compassion, and grace. And if your wondering how many times you should forgive someone, a good question to ask yourself is this: "How many times have I sinned?" What would your life be like without grace? The very thought should make us cringe.