Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about grace, and about how the desire for grace is often one-sided.
For example, how many times have we wronged someone else and made excuses for our behavior, then turned right around and uttered something like, “But that person doesn’t deserve my grace?”
When we speak shortly to someone or show up late to an appointment, we tend to justify our own behavior and we want the other person to recognize that we’re stressed out and busy. But if someone else is snappy with us? Sadly, many of us (myself included) often don’t recognize the stress in their lives and we instead become offended by the person’s outward behavior.
Yes, we should all try to do our best, and no it is not okay for anyone to treat others poorly, but the truth is that all of us fail at times.
And when we mess up, we usually want people to extend grace towards us, but too many times we don’t want to offer that same grace to others.
That is a dangerous place to be.
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”Matthew 11:25-26 (emphasis mine)
Grace means unmerited favor. By definition, grace isn’t something that’s earned. Grace is a beautiful gift that’s offered to the undeserving.
I want to encourage you to extend grace – offer the same grace to others that you’d want them to offer to you.
And when we’re the ones who mess up? Instead of making excuses and justifying our behavior, let’s realize that we’ve messed up, then give ourselves the grace that we want others to extend to us. Yes, we need to repent for wrongdoings, and seek forgiveness, but we shouldn’t stay in that guilty place.
Realize there is hope for change. We can be refined.
“For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.” Psalm 66:10
I hope you will take a minute to listen to this song (e-mail subscribers, you may need to click over to the blog to see the video). While we do need to allow ourselves time to heal, let’s not waste unneeded time and energy focusing on worldly hurts, as we instead focus on the big picture and the Ultimate Goal.
P.S. If you’re struggling with a particularly difficult person or situation, I recommend reading this article for further advice and encouragement.