…….Continued from Last Week…..
Being front row in the life of a family member who can’t seem to get their junk together may just be the place where God wants you. Front row to the show so that you can clearly see the need and to offer help, encouragement and a safe place for them to come and confide in you.
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” 1 Peter 4:10
God has given gifts to all of His children. Encouragement isn’t everyone’s strong suit. He placed specific people on earth to be encouragers. If we know we are an encourager but don’t use that gift because we feel like we are owed it ourselves, we aren’t living the fullest to our God given potential.
Most of the time, we have no clue how much impact our positive words can have on each other. I, for one, can remember things that women have said to me over the years that have left an imprint on my heart and mind and have changed me for the good.
Like in any relationship, consistent communication and listening are key. Being still to listen in the midst of your spouse or friend and mostly, being still in the midst of God. God has an endless amount of grace for us. Be quiet and still and let him saturate you with it, He always has time for us.
Those toys that Aunt Sally keeps giving you that make you want to throw them out your window? Guess what Mommas? You can once she leaves. (or donating it would be more environmentally friendly, ha!) But showing her grace by accepting it and thanking her, may just make her day and give her a sense of purpose because maybe her love language is gift giving.
We all know the stress that can go into holiday dinner preparations. I am sure the food that you are trying not to throw up while maintaining a genuine smile and the occasional head bob was made with a whole heap full of those emotions baked right into it! (maybe that’s why it tastes so bad?)
We have no idea of the lives that are in all of those cars around us on the road every day. No idea of the day or week they just had. We can choose to react on the circumstantial evidence at hand, or we can politely and willingly pull to the side or over a lane or just simply smile and wave and let them be on their way. And hey, maybe the car in front of you IS feeding the 5,000, or serving the 50 people in their office by bringing them coffee or breakfast. Who knows!
I’m sure the parent whose child just threw up is feeling judged and embarrassed as it is. She doesn’t need your brash looks or passive aggressive comments. Next week it could be your child. Pray good health and safety over the class and children and leave it in God’s hands.
Then you have those young children who are constantly wearing their hearts on their sleeves and throwing temper tantrums every time they don’t get their way. Don’t we secretly wish we could act like that to sometimes? Ha! We need to be the mature parents ‒ training, correcting and disciplining our children for their bad behaviors. But, we should be doing all that with grace because we understand where they are coming from. And they have sin in them just as you and I have sin in us.
We women are our own worst critics. We can be stuck inside all day trying to survive life and relying way too much on the television every day because we need to something to help keep our sanity. Or, we can work out regularly and still feel we aren’t doing enough or we won’t amount to anything and fail.
Show yourself some grace, sister!
We all go through seasons and changes. Highs and lows. You may be in this season of life with small children or working a ton or you are sick or have an injury or whatever may be the case and you can’t focus on yourself right now. On the flip side, you may be at a chapter in your life where you are able to live a healthy and more active lifestyle. And if you’re not in one of those stages now, you were in the past or you probably will be in the future. We need to ask God to help us find a little balance with both and stop cutting ourselves down so much!
Bottom line is we never really know the reasons for the way others act or don’t act. But we do know that sin is the reason we have hurt and the reason why it can be so easy to project our hurts and insecurities onto others.
Grace gives us perspective.
Maybe we do know why that person acts like that. Maybe it’s because they have been hurt so many times. Do you want to add another hurt to their tally list? Do you want to prove them right that no one cares about them and everyone hates them? Show a little grace.
Yes, they need Jesus to heal their wounds, but so do we. We have that immediate human, sinful nature that responds to our emotions. Emotions should be used as indicators, not dictators. We need to remember to stop, take a step back and give grace to others. Worthy or not. Deserving or not. Accepting it or not.
Lord knows I do.
Is our grace enough for those who have hurt you or will hurt you? God’s grace for us is. How beautiful is that?!
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16
Heather and her husband live in Smithsburg MD. They attend Lifehouse church and are active at the local YMCA. Heather is a photographer, coffee lover and fitness momma with 3 babies. She is thankful to be a stay at home Mom and is passionate about women’s ministry and the opportunities and gifts God has placed in her life and on her heart.