Be Gracious with Everyone, Generous in Spirit, and Forgive Quickly

Be Gracious with Everyone, Generous in Spirit, and Forgive Quickly

Return to our Way of Life

The grace of God sustains all things. This grace comes from God’s love. It flows from there and permeates creation. As we live in God’s love, we find that our grace flows from our love. The Spirit’s transforming work of love gives us a generous spirit and helps us to forgive quickly.

Grace, generosity, and forgiveness are important to sustain relationships and communities. We are relational, and we have a relational God. When we are in relationships for long enough, harm will happen. We will hurt one another just as we hurt our relationship with God. It is here that we find the need for grace, generosity, and forgiveness. These are not wound dressings, but the means of divine restoration. In love, let us choose to hope for restoration with one another. A restoration that, just like with Jesus after the resurrection, may leave marks and wounds behind.

Grace has the power to restore. When we accept God’s grace for our sins, our relationship with the divine is restored. Every one of our lives and places is in need of restoration. It is a need far bigger than all of us combined. So we do what we can. We choose to be gracious with everyone. Being gracious is an act of faith. It is us saying that we trust God to restore some of what is broken. Seldom do we get to see the restoring work of God, but we continue to be gracious in faith.

One of the works of God in our lives is to more clearly understand our brokenness and sinfulness. This only happens as we live in God’s love, grace, and mercy. We come to clearly understand all we have been given. It is humbling and overwhelming. God has given us more than we could ever want or need. As this reality sinks into our flesh and being, the natural response is generosity. Our posture and spirit are inclined to be generous. Understand what you have and what you can give. Give as generously as you are able.

Forgive quickly. Let us follow the example of Jesus, who forgave on the cross. He forgave those who asked and did not. This act of forgiveness sets us free from the sin that binds us together. It does not free us from a broken heart, hurt, trauma or loss. Forgiveness is a first step in restoring what was broken by sin. It is not the last step. Exercise wisdom with those who have caused harm, and be cautious with them. Give everyone the chance to accept forgiveness and do the work of repentance. Just as we accept God’s grace and choose to grow, we extend that same opportunity to others. Forgiving someone does not make you responsible for their repentance or restoration. Forgiving is often a part of the process for us to help heal what they broke. In this, God is gracious and generous with us.

Invitations to Engage

  • Prayerfully ask God to reveal ways you’ve lived unaware of His grace in your life.
  • Reflect back on the grace you’ve received in your life. Think about how your relationship to grace has changed with time.
  • What are some of the tangible ways that you are, or could be, gracious with everyone?
  • Who in your life comes to mind when you think of a gracious person? What is it about them?
  • Our generosity comes from what we have. To prepare to be generous, reflect and take account of what you have, are, and and do.
  • Spend time praising God that in His love is an abundance of grace, generosity, and forgiveness.
  • Ask God to make you more deeply aware of all that He has given you.
  • Reflect on the ways that God, and others have been generous with you. Take time to express gratitude to them for what they’ve done. It is okay if you already have.
  • What feelings or experiences may keep you from forgiving quickly?
  • Meditate on how accepting forgiveness is interwoven with being gracious.
  • What are somethings you’ve been forgiven for, but that you have not yet repented of?
  • What, if any, wrongs have you done for which you should not be seen as safe in communities? How might you keep others safe from yourself?

Meditations on this Rule