Raise your hand if you have ever written somebody off.
If we are truly honest with ourselves, we’ve done it time and time again. We often don’t realize it, but sometimes reaching out for the seemingly hundredth time seems too difficult. We all have those people in our lives who seem to continually make a mess of things; they seem to survive on idea that they will be forgiven regardless of the severity of their actions.
Let’s examine my father for a moment. My dad was the kind of teenager that nobody expected would succeed. They expected him to make a mess of his life. People constantly wrote him off as a nuisance and a trouble-maker. Last week we went to a family reunion across the state and saw people that we haven’t seen in fifteen years. It was interesting to note that many of those people still held the same opinion of my father that they did when he was a mere teenager.
Why is that? Why is it that we write people off despite the fact that at some point in time somebody gave us a second chance? Why is it that we hold other people to a different standard than we hold ourselves accountable to? If we expect to be given another chance when we fall, we must first extend grace to those who need it in this moment.
If you were to meet my father today you would very soon realize that he is an incredible human. He is truly the most kind, driven, selfless, Christ-like person you would ever have the privilege of meeting. His past acquaintances and distant family members always appear very shocked when it becomes known that he is a pastor — and a successful one at that. But why? I always find myself wondering why it is so difficult for people to extend a second chance to someone else when they themselves have needed a second chance at some point.
We must never reach a point where we forget that we will one day be in need of grace.
We will stumble and we will make irrevocable mistakes that will indeed cost us something.I have learned that in order to receive grace, I must first freely give it.
Where sin abounded, Grace did much more abound.
– Romans 5:20 KJV
What I have recently learned is this: that person that you have written off and have dubbed a failure could very well become the most influential person in the kingdom of God. That unfocused teenager sitting on the back row could quite possibly be used by God to do miraculous, world-shaking things. If we look at those we consider pillars of the Bible and really do an in depth study of their lives, we will soon discover that those with the greatest anointing and the greatest call typically had the greatest failures.
We must not allow someone’s mistakes to define their God-given future.
I have realized that we must reach out once more to the person who may not seem receptive. They may, in fact, seem disinterested, but by reaching out once more, by extending grace once more, you are allowing God to truly work through you in an incredible way.
So REACH. Once more.
Go beyond what’s comfortable. Allow God to use you to build up someone who continually struggles. Ten years down the road, you will probably find that you are were the difference maker in someone’s life because you reached out to them. Imagine the impact a second chance could make for just one person.