We often look at someone and assume they live in a glass house. We assume that we see everything they are going through. We see the beautiful home, great husband, amazing career, remarkable children, great body….
The list could go on of all the things we ‘think’ we see.
When in reality, that friend who hasn’t returned your phone calls, she doesn’t have the mental energy to pick up the phone because she is fighting for her marriage. The friend that seems aloof and withdrawn is really battling anxiety and depression and wondering what is the purpose of living. The fellow mom at your kid’s school that seems to be super mom and have it all together. Well, she is struggling with a loved one’s recent cancer diagnosis. When you see the family that lives in a beautiful home and drives nice cars, what you don’t see is the mounting debt that is causing a major financial crisis.
We look at the those around us trying to get a read on them based on our own situation and experiences. The truth is that no one except Jesus fully knows what a person has gone through or is going through. The truth is
I have gossiped
I have lied
I have made assumptions
I have made mistakes
I have sinned
But I don’t want other’s opinions of me to be based on my shortcomings. Why?
Because I have been forgiven
I have been given grace.
I have learned
and I have grown in grace
and now I’m learning to extend grace.
Maybe your husband has said something to you that would typically make you begin the journey of divorce. Please don’t take it personally. He may be going through a personal crisis and giving up on marriage seems to be the easiest scapegoat.
Maybe your parents have failed you and it would be easier to stop pursuing a relationship with them. Choose to honor your mother and father, it might be your relationship that helps them experience grace.
Maybe your child has said mean and hateful things to you. Don’t take it personally. Love them anyway. How else will they experience unconditional love?
Maybe a friend has gossiped, backstabbed, or neglected you. Extend grace to them. You don’t really know what they are going through, and they most likely need a true friend.
Christ experienced all sorts of accusations, lies, misconceptions, and ridicule. He didn’t take it personally. Maybe we shouldn’t either. As we continue to seek out a greater understanding of our need for grace, let’s not forget that we must extend grace to others as well.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. Hebrews 4:16
In what ways are you challenged with extending grace in relationships? How have you grown in extending grace to others?
(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)