In this season, God is trying to teach me something. I swear I ain’t quite figured it out, but it has actually to do with grace and compassion and love–how those things look in real time and how I need God to be those things. Much of the scripture that I am led to read and meditate on and am ultimately convicted by has been about my heart and what is in it and God cleaning it up. But also how I have to now apply that grace to other people in my life. Offense. Bitterness. Anger. Envy. Hatefulness. All things that God is removing from my eye so that I can love better. It has been a painful season. You never know how unwell you are…sigh. I asked God to change me a couple years ago, but this. This been much, but I am more appreciative of God’s grace and God’s CHOICE to give grace…and how much grace I must be willing to impart if I’ma be more like God.
Here’s a recent scenario: I had a conversation in which the other person was joking and I felt like I needed to clarify my position about a thing said…really just trying to just be nice and encouraging in an effort to show how grateful I was for this person. This (obviously) failed attempt at being loving morphed into an uncomfortable convo about all my apparent deficiencies in which I apologized profusely for prolly the umpteenth time for the way I communicate (very circular cuz I write better than I talk, y’all).
Days. DAYS later, I tell a joke and suddenly, the conversation becomes, “I don’t care cuz I can never say anything right for you.”
Because while I was accused of being offended, actually I wasn’t the one offended. And while I had been accused of trying to be “too deep” all the time, my joke was deemed as inappropriate.
*insert eye roll here*
But I didn’t roll my eyes until after I cried because I was genuinely hurt and confused. I really didn’t get how we kept ending up having this terrible conversation because it wasn’t the first time. And I wanted it to be the last though. No matter what it took.
So anyway, I was “cry-praying” trying to just be at peace, you know, and two scriptures floated before my face. The first was:
“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”
John 14:27 AMPC
And the second was:
“For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.”
Matthew 12:37 AMPC
The first one was really great because I needed it. I needed to remain in the peace of God, that “though He slay me, I’m gonna trust Him” peace. The second one…well. I needed to look that up.
The scripture is one in which Jesus spoke in scathing terms to religious leaders about their…religiousness. He basically clapped back on em in this passage telling them, “Y’all words is trash because your hearts is trash. But God finna judge EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. And every not good word spoken finna light yo behinds up. Cuz you are either acquitted o found guilty based off whatchu say.”
What was God saying to me? Cuz I hadn’t said much. Except…I’m not finna lie. I was lowkey angry and basically murmuring some incredibly unChristian things under my breath. So ON TOP OF TRYING TO ASK OR FORGIVENESS FOR BEING OFFENDED I HAD TO REPENT FOR THE WORDS I DIDN’T SAY–to God or to the person who essentially teed me off.
God was reminding me that God searched and knows the heart. And I could no longer go between two opinions on the matter. Either I was gonna BE RIGHT or I could stop acting righting. Period.
So I shut up. I over ran the words in my heart with scriptures and went on about my day with intentional joy. My goal returned to pleasing God instead of wrestling with people. I let it go, and actually enjoyed my day. I apologized for offending, I asked for forgiveness for being offended, and I chose peace and love over anger and bitterness.
I chose it.
It was hard. I wanted to dig in and fight cuz I wasn’t wrong. But for what? To lose? I’m already hurting; no need to add to it while God is healing me. No need to start over.
If there is anything to be learned here it’s that:
- God will give you what you ask for.
- It will sometimes be super hard.
- You must put the word into practice.
- It is really easy to offend AND to be offended.
- It is really hard to forgive people.
- It takes intention and prayer to be forgiving.
- God demands a level of grace only God can provide.
- Showing grace doesn’t get easier because the tests become more challenging.
- True grace makes you examine yourself.
- God be on us about our motives more THAN ANYTHING ELSE.