I’ve heard it said that God is a God of second chances. If God gave me a second chance every time I made a mistake, I would be out of second chances. So I disagree. He is a God of infinite chances.
That’s because we aren’t given second chances, we are given grace–forgiveness. Grace is given to us freely by God, through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Grace is gift from God, a forgiveness of all of our sins. By asking God for a second chance there is an expectation on our side that we won’t do it again. The likelihood is that we will. In some way, shape, or form, we will repeat what we did before. We may not say the hurtful words to the other person the second time around, but our minds probably will. We will go to the edge of what we did before, and eventually fall back into it.
If I am looking for a second chance from God, the moment I sin again, I feel guilty. In my mind, was not able to hold my side of the deal with God. My view of my relationship with God becomes strained because I view grace as a case by case manner, not as an overflow of forgiveness.
When I think of infinite chances, the parable of the prodigal son comes to mind. Despite turning away from his father, despite all his wrong-doing, the father loves and accepts his son back into his arms. The father was always filled with grace and forgiveness, the son chose to turn away. But when the son returns, the father is there.
Because of Jesus, I can show grace to others and lead a life trying to walk with God. In Christ, we are a new creation, being renewed day by day–not action by action. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I’ve heard pastors say that believing in Jesus is not a “get out of jail free card,” and it isn’t. Jesus’ forgiveness and grace should be changing your life constantly. That change should be working in those areas of your life where you are sinning, to help you turn away from it, and to provide you with solutions to help you grow. And with the infinite number of chances Jesus has freely given you, you should in turn, freely give that to others. Jesus gives us all the tools we need to bring him glory and to show others grace. By turning to him and not ourselves, he will show us the way with hope that we will grow wiser and more grace-filled than before.
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
- Who in your life do you need to give grace to?
- What areas in your life do you need to give grace to?
- What decision that you have made or others have made that you need to give an infinite number of chances with?
- Who do you need to turn to and give an infinite number of chances to? (This is by no means an excuse for abusive relationships–whether physical, emotional, or any combination–there is a time where grace is the decision to turn away from a relationship to protect yourself and/or others–if you need help deciding what that might mean for a relationship in your life, please reach out to your pastor or a counselor for guidance)
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your grace, the infinite number of chances You give us. No matter how hard we try to walk in Your ways, we still fall. Help me to show grace in (this area of my life) so that You and Your teachings are glorified. Convict me of my sin so that I can turn away from it and turn to You for help. Help me to see Your grace moving through my life and others and help me to grow in wisdom as I walk with You.
In Your name I pray,