Learning how to extend grace to others is an important skill since it is part of our calling as children of God. In this article, we will cover some practical ways to mirror the love, grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father. With that said, I want to be transparent in saying the act of extending grace to others is not always easy. As you read through this article, the amazing grace of God is the best model of grace and the biggest motivator to extend grace to others. We all have a circle of influence. Who is God calling you to influence through grace to the glory of God?
The Grace of God
Grace is not only part of God’s character, heart and mind, it is also what enables us to do all that we are called to do this side of heaven. We are saved by grace and we live by grace. God’s grace is a demonstration of His steadfast love. It is unconditional love and favor- not earned or gained by works or performance. In other words, we don’t deserve grace, however it is freely given. The most common translation of grace in the New Testament is charis, used about 156 times in the ESV translation. In the Bible dictionary, 3 words stood out to me as alternate ways to say grace: favor, gift and benefit.
Saved by Grace
Saved by Grace– When we talk about grace we often hear the phrase “unmerited favor”. Favor that we don’t deserve is another way to say that. We are saved by grace, through faith. We cannot earn the favor or salvation of God. While we don’t deserve this forgiveness, it is freely given. In the Bible, the Greek word translated “forgiveness” literally means “to let go”, rather than demanding payment for a debt. As we talk more about how to extend grace to others, we will see how letting things go is a big part of how we extend grace to others.
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Romans 5:15
…and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:24
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Live by Grace
Live by Grace– Grace is given to us abundantly to live out the purpose for which we are called. That grace enables us to serve God, obey Him, and ultimately live for Him. The Blue Letter Bible shared described grace for living as God’s merciful kindness influencing souls to turn to Christ, strengthen, increase faith, knowledge and affection to exercise Christian values.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
More Bible Verses About God’s Amazing Grace
to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, Ephesians 1:6-8
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence draw near, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10
because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1
Why do we extend grace to others?
To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. Acts 10:43
We are called to mirror the love, forgiveness and grace of God to the world. This means that we extend grace to others- not because they earned it or deserve it, but because we are recipients of grace. We did not earn God’s grace, rather it was freely given. We have the privilege of passing the grace we have received to others. When we extend grace to others we are drawing the world to the light of Christ. Most importantly it opens the doors to sharing the good news. Our circle of influence is our mission field. When we extend grace to others it goes a long way. In fact, it might be the most powerful tool we have when sharing the gospel. It is so counterculture and incomprehensible.
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:32-36
How do we extend grace to others?
Extending grace to someone who is acting unlovable is so hard. Honestly, nothing in my flesh wants to extend grace to others. I’d prefer they get what they deserve! I find myself having conversations with God often about the unfairness of it, while fully aware that is part of my calling as a daughter of the Most High.
His Holy Spirit often reminds me that I didn’t deserve grace either, but didn’t receive what I actually deserved. I find that is a helpful way of looking at the sometimes difficult task of extending grace to others. Depending on God’s enablement through prayer is also vital to extending grace to others. Prayerful dependence on God is the only way to live out Christian values. Finally, on the days that I am acting the most unlovable, grace is what I need more than anything. When someone offers me grace instead of what I deserve, it disarms me. Grace changes me, my attitude and my mind. That is the very gift we can give to others around us.
Bible Verses About Extending Grace to Others
Scripture outlines some of the powerful ways we can offer the amazing gift of grace in your everyday life…
1. Gentle Words
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.Proverbs 15:4
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
Articles on Forgiveness:
3. Overlooking Offenses
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9
4. Helping Others Bear the Burdens
Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Proverbs 14:31
Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17
5. Comforting Others
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
6. Showing Kindness
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Luke 6:35
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:10
7. Gently Correcting out of Love
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:1
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15
8. Being Merciful
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7
9. Assuming the Best
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2
“…do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame? Proverbs 25:8
“Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw. Proverbs 25:8MSG
10. Being Respectful
Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2:17
Wrapping Up How to Extend Grace to Others
As you were reminded of the free gift of God- grace, how did God’s Spirit speak to your heart? Did you feel empowered to see the world through God’s eyes? Who is He calling you to share grace with in your circle of influence? As I reviewed the Bible verses above I am praying that God will help me with assuming the best, gentle words and speaking the truth in love. How are you depending on God to help you extend grace to others?