And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~Ephesians 3:16b-19
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~Ephesians 2:8-10
I've seen firsthand the effects of showing God's kind of love to other people. Unconditional love (which can only come from God), has the power to change people, to build them up, strengthen their faith, and encourage their hearts.
But recently I've also been challenged to show grace to others. Grace is unmerited favor - mercy and kindness that goes beyond what I think a person deserves. Grace and love are close to synonymous, but not quite. I believe grace has more to do with showing another person kindness, care, love, mercy, forgiveness - no matter if you think they deserve it or not. In a way it goes beyond love by actively seeking the best for that other person.
When I usually think of showing other people grace, I think of being able to forgive someone who has wronged or hurt me. But grace goes beyond that. It also is simply showing people how much God loves and cares for them - no matter who they are or what road their path is on. It's reminding and revealing to people how much God was willing to sacrifice because he desires a relationship with them.
I want to be that kind of person - who shows God's grace to all around me. And the only way that will happen is if I first know and experience His grace in my own life.