Sunday, February 7, 2016

Showing Grace

I am disappointed with the way we can treat each other. There is so much disrespect and hatred involved when it comes to feelings being hurt and the occurrence of misunderstanding. Coming from an environment where I have always been surrounded by the love of Christ I have known nothing but love and support. Even when feelings were hurt there was always grace, understanding, and forgiveness. But, as I enter the adult world or what some may call reality, I’m seeing that love and support is not as available and it makes me sad. It makes me sad for those who don’t know the love of Christ and are not surrounded in the communities I have been privileged to be a part of.

We act one way when all is right in the world and then when we have been wronged it’s easy to act like we don’t know the love of Jesus or His sacrifice for us. When we are wronged, it’s easy to lash out emotionally and to act on impulse. It’s much easier to hurt someone than it is to extend grace.

I recently had an occurrence with someone in which harsh words and accusations were thrown at me. I did my best to remain calm. I never accused them of anything or called them a harsh name. After it all, I sat down, had a sigh of relief and gave myself a huge pat on the back. I had done a great job at keeping calm and being understanding.

But, I realized I had it all wrong. I was still actively thinking of ways in which I was better and more mature than this person. I was still looking for ways to achieve justice for a wrong I felt I didn’t deserve. I sat down and reflected. Everything I had done that was “right” had been solely for me. Never had I put a single thought towards extending grace genuinely from my heart. I didn’t attempt to forgive them for their wrong; I attempted only to place myself on a higher pedestal.

2 Timothy 2:25 “Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth”

Outwardly, I had been gentle in the way that I interacted with this person. However, my heart was filled with hatred, confusion, and an inability to forgive. Yet, when I looked towards Jesus, I saw that he had been quick to forgive and quick to take responsibility for our sins. He suffered and had only love for all of us. Realizing this, I realized that I needed to let go of my hatred and my need for justice and hand it to God. What I needed to do most of all was to extend the love I felt they didn’t deserve. After all, I don’t deserve God’s love. 

I’m sure that you have been hurt by someone once before. I’m also sure that in many cases you did not deserve that hurt. I know that it’s hard to show love to someone who has done an injustice to you. But, Jesus sacrificed His love so that we may share this love with others. Letting go of your hatred and extending grace and the love that you know will fill you with a peace much more satisfying than that of receiving justice.

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