Gracious! I Didn’t Realize!

Gracious! I Didn't Realize!

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?” Romans 2:4 (NIV)

A blind eye? Or grace?

Life would be easier—spiritually speaking—if God disciplined me every time I sinned. My growth curve would be sharper. I would learn more quickly and suffer from far fewer repeated sins.

Instead, my relationship with sin falls into three categories. Sometimes I’m unaware of a blind spot, something God hasn’t chosen to expose just yet. Other times, a sin hovers in the back of my mind, playing hide and seek until I’m ready to deal with it. A third scenario finds me fully aware of the issue and in full battle mode against it.

Let’s train in Romans today. Read Romans 2:4 again.

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?” Romans 2:4 (NIV)

Contempt: Do I take advantage of God’s grace? Do I use it as a license for my own poor choices? Or those sin areas where I’m still sitting the fence? If so, Paul says I’m treating God with contempt.

Not a place I want to go.

Kindness, Tolerance, and Patience: Do you remember the days of fussy toddlers when they demonstrated anything but acceptable behavior? Frustrated though we might have been, we chose not to discipline but to show grace, especially if we knew hunger or a missed nap was driving that behavior. Likewise, God shows grace to me. Why? To lead me to repentance.

Realize and Repent: God has struck people dead for lesser sins than mine. When I realize the magnitude of His grace, I’m grateful. Gratitude for His grace leads me to repentance.

The NIV cross-references Romans 2:4 with 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Both refer to salvation, though I think Paul’s verse could be applied to our daily walk.

Both sit in passages speaking of God’s final judgment.

God sees all. He chooses to give kindness, tolerance, and patience in hopes of leading me to repentance. From death to life. From lost to found. From darkness to light.

When I get a glimpse of His grace, I’m humbled. The 180 comes more easily when I’m grateful.

What kindness has God demonstrated in the face of your sin?

What has He tolerated?

How long have you kept Him waiting?

Nail your spiritual workouts this week and change your corner of the gym.

Workout of the Week: Gracious! I Didn’t Realize!

Memory Verse: “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?” Romans 2:4 (NIV)

Meditation Passage: Romans 2:1-11

Just Do It: Realize and repent.