Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Extend Grace

It always astonishes me how mean people can be. Maybe it is the sensitive Pisces side of me but I cannot wrap my head around why people make deliberate choices to do things that hurt and exclude others. Even in our current political climate and with all the terrible things happening throughout the country, unkindness still baffles me. I wrote about rude people a while ago and it seems like not much has changed. Doesn't it take more energy to be mean? If we were all just a little nicer, our world would truly be a better place.

A recent turn of events in my life have led me to be on the receiving end of meanness from people that I love dearly. This weekend I had enough. I was tempted to venture back to my hot tempered spicy mouth days and meet their meanness with the same and then I saw this:
Have you ever read something that just causes you to stop in your tracks? Like I know that God placed this right where I would see it so that I would pause before reacting. So often people project their own insecurities on to us. Rather than address their own issues or talk to you directly, you become the target. In my case, it took me a while to realize that I was in fact the target. What reason would people I love have to ignore me? I must confess my immediate response was an immense sadness for what I was losing and then anger because why would any one treat me this way? 

Then I realized three things after reading Pastor Ryan's tweets: 
1. The reasons people are being mean have nothing to do with me. 
2. God is ordering my steps even if others don't understand it. 
3. God wants to stretch me through this process.

I need to shift my focus from what I am not getting to the work that God has given me to do. I am called to be a game changer. Pastor Ryan said that just a few weeks ago (come on over to Christ Church one day---I promise it will bless you)! In his sermon on Palm Sunday, he talked about the fact that as a game changer, I am called to give great grace. When we are hurt and offended and still show the love of God--we can really change the game. So today, I choose to not be petty and extend the grace that God has given me---even when it is not asked for or deserved. Today I will not meet hate with hate but continue to show the love of God. I need God's grace myself so instead I will pray for those that curse and turn their back on me. I will carry on in peace because I am the daughter of a King and I know he is directing my steps and has great things in store for me.

I accept this challenge not because I am better than but because of what I am striving towards. I challenge all of us to just be nicer. Before we ignore a text or talk about someone behind their back, can we pray for them instead? You never know what someone is going through. Be the bridge that leads someone to Christ and not the hand that pushes them over the edge.

Have you ever been stretched by God to show grace to someone you felt didn't deserve it?

Join me in praying for whoever that might be in you life and watch God move!