Grace. Forgiveness. Mercy. Gratitude. They are all intertwined!
Grace is like forgiveness...it is getting what we don't deserve. An unexpected kindness. None of us deserve forgiveness, and yet God offers it to us. The words grace and gratitude are related. Do you know the word for "thank you" in Spanish is "gracias"? Do you see the word "grace" in it?
Mercy is like forgiveness...it is not getting what we do deserve. A punishment not given. The words mercy and gratitude are related. Do you know the word for "thank you" in French? It is "merci". Do you see the word "mercy" in it?
So when we are lavished with grace and mercy the response should be one of gratitude. Gratitude can also be our ticket out of unforgiveness...
Recently, I was able to forgive an offense simply by saying "thanks" to God for the offense. Sounds crazy, I know! Yet, when we thank Him for those hard events in our lives that have caused great pain we can more freely let go of the hurt.
The next time you are offended watch for ways that you can praise God for it. Was there some part of it that benefited you? Did you grow in your relationship with God because of it? Did God save you from something worse that could have occurred in your life because of the offense? When we thank God for the hard things we can let go of them....and that is really what forgiveness is.