I struggled with feeling unworthy to receive God's grace and forgiveness for years

Scott Walters recommends Free of charge: giving and forgiving in a culture stripped of grace by Miroslav Volf as an Eternity Summer Read.

For some years, I struggled with feeling unworthy to receive God’s free gift of grace and forgiveness. Indeed, as someone once pointed out to me, I am unworthy! But I’ve been given it anyway. And as I have been given, so too should I give and forgive others.

Many years ago my role was made redundant at the hand of a manager who I describe as a xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic bully. And ever since then I’ve wondered what I would say to him were I to bump into him in the street.

Giving and forgiving are what this book is all about, from two perspectives: God’s and ours.

Content! Love that word! Not happy. Not joyful. Content.

Volf beautifully describes God’s free gift of grace and forgiveness and the response that should elicit in us. And he encourages us to consider our posture as regards giving and forgiving; ourselves and others. ‘The heart of forgiveness is a generous release of a genuine debt,’ he writes.

Volf also challenges us that ‘… if the presence of the gift-giving Christ makes us rich … we will then know the secret of being content whatever the circumstance …’

Content! Love that word! Not happy. Not joyful. Content. The world tells us that to find true happiness we need material possessions; he who dies with the most toys wins. Volf, however, writes that ‘a rich self lives in the present with contentment.’

It has taken me many years but were I to bump into the manager described above, I’m confident that through the learned wisdom in this book, and the work of the Holy Spirit in me, I would be able to show grace and forgiveness.

Free of charge: giving and forgiving in a culture stripped of gracby Miroslav Volf can be ordered through Koorong for $24.99. It is published by Zondervan.

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