About 3 years ago Rhonda and I received a 50 dollar gift card to a restaurant. We went and arrived on a bad day. They put us in a room with a large group. We were placed at our little table on the side. The servers were overwhelmed as was the one designated to us. We received poor and slow service. Everyone was nice, but again, not a great experience. We could see the poor kid was over his head and took that into account. When it came time for the payment I gave him the card and when he bought it back I said that the extra on it was all his tip, almost 20 dollars. I was surprised at this response, with tears in his eyes he grabbed my hand with his tattooed hand and thanked me profusely telling the difference this was going to make. My response, “I am just sharing a gift with you that was given to me.”
In Matthew 14 there is an amazing story recorded about 5,000 hungry people and one Jesus who breaks 5 loaves of bread, lifts up 2 fish, gives thanks, and then passes the meal to His disciples, who pass it to the crowd, who passes it to one another, and when it is all done there are 12 baskets left over.
When ever a Christian gives anything away, forgiveness, mercy, money, time, sweat, a listening ear, we are giving away what God has given to us, something we received because God has in His love and mercy poured great grace into us. Everything we have is a gift of God, a gift card if you like, that God has generously given to us to spend as we like; the Bible saying “giving us all good things to enjoy”, and “Give as you hare received”.
When we forgive, God has first forgiven us. When we love, God has first loved us. When we understand, God has first understood us, When we give, God has first given everything we have to us. Its God’s love, God’s forgiveness, God’s understanding, God’s grace we offer, not our own.
In an incredibly ungracious season I hope that we as Christians can multiply grace that is very much in need of multiplication.
We know when multiplying grace is working when we have leftover baskets spilling over into every aspect of our lives, our relationships, our families, our workplaces, our social media networks, our politics and opinions, our take on groups and people other than our own, and our world. Lets multiply some grace folks, its not ours anyway. This is where the miracle is!