Last month, I spoke at a wedding. In preparation, I asked the bride and groom to each tell me why they loved the other. Their answers were marvelous, and I had fun sharing them with the whole congregation. I followed up by saying, “And when you find yourselves frustrated with one another, probably over something that doesn’t really matter, remember the words you’ve shared with one another today. They will help you show one another grace.”
Last week, I got mad at my husband. Once in a while he does something that hurts my feelings, always something that doesn’t really matter, and it silences my joy for far too long. I still need to get better at showing grace*.
Long ago, I wrote these words. “We need to get along. To cut each other slack. To put up with inconvenience. To encourage one another. Petty grievances, and the discord they can create, are as old as the hills. When moments of hurt or anger threaten to weaken your relationships and silence your joy, remember that we have a common enemy, Satan, who seeks to divide us, to entice us into choosing offense and harboring hurt. At the same time, we share our common Lord, who calls us to forgive, to overlook, and to show grace.”
Ken Werlein of Faithbridge church said, “No matter what someone does to provoke us, we have done the same and more to provoke the wrath of God. Yet God forgives us and offers us his forgiveness, his love and kindness every single day. Thus, even when we find no earthly reason to offer grace to a fellow human being, we have a wealth of heavenly reasons to do so.”
James 1:19 instructs us to, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
This week, I’ll be asking the Lord to help me follow that command. Join me?
- “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult” (Proverbs 12:16).
- “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11).
* And, since I prepare these blogs in advance, I need to add here that today, as I review this, I no longer remember what Steve did or why I was upset. All the more reason to show grace right away!