Extend grace not judgement

I love to watch the show “Holmes on Homes”. In this show, Mike Holmes goes to houses that people bought, finds problems with the house and then repairs it free of charge. It often costs him money personally that show doesn’t pay for. He finds people who didn’t do their homework when hiring a contractor or when buying a home and later find that nothing was done right. He comes in, does a thorough inspection to find everything that is wrong and makes all the necessary changes.

It costs him time and money to make it right for these strangers. I watch the show in amazement not only because he does a great job, but because of the grace he extends to these people. He doesn’t walk through and tell the homeowners what they should have done. He simply points out the problems and then finds the solution. He lets the audience know what should have happened so we don’t make the same mistakes.

My nature is to quickly point out someone’s mistakes and to tell them how they should have done it. That’s not how Jesus operated though. He extended grace to people who didn’t deserve it. People who were outcasts and out right sinners were brought to him for judgement and every time, he responded with grace.

I noticed 3 things he did each time that we can do for others.

1. He conversed with them

At the well with the Samaritan woman, Jesus started the conversation with her. He didn’t wait for her to talk to him. It was against the culture for him to speak with her because she was a woman and because she was considered a unclean. When the disciples came back, they were shocked that he was talking to her.

Who has God placed in your life to talk to? Have you kept your distance because of what others might say? There are plenty of people who are hurting because everyone has kept their distance from them. They need a friend. They need someone to talk to. They need someone to offer living water.

2. He didn’t judge

When the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery and wanted to stone her, he simply said, “Let whoever is without sin cast the first stone.” I love that it says starting with the oldest, one by one they laid down their stones. There is not one of us without fault or sin somewhere in our life. I think we like to find fault in others because it makes us feel better about our own faults.

Jesus said clearly in this story, “I did not set myself up to judge or condemn.” If he didn’t, then why do we? Condemnation brings death. Love brings life. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. I will give you living water. I have come to bring life and that more abundantly.” How can you bring life to someone who needs it today instead of condemnation?

3. He extended grace

Grace is something we all want, but rarely give. He knew the woman had been caught in adultery, but said, “Neither do I condemn you.” He knew the woman at the well had been married five times and was now living with a man out of wedlock. He still told her, “Ask of me and I will give you living water.”

Jesus looked past the externals and circumstances of people to see who they really were. He didn’t judge them for that. He extended grace because he knew they needed it. When we receive it, it makes a difference in our day and in our life. You may have been wronged by someone, but Jesus calls you to extend grace to them anyway. Don’t be quick to receive grace from others and slow to give it. We all need grace.

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