Respond with grace
How do we overcome past hurts in relationships? How can we combine separate and unique perspectives to create a friendship or relationship that’s compassionate and caring? There’s a very special ingredient called ‘grace’ that must be added to the mix. It calls for extending to the other person the same grace that God extends to us. It bandages broken people and allows the defeated to develop ways to break free from their pasts. It gives strength to those who struggle. Grace restores the heart and resolves the troubles of a tormented spirit. It is loving-kindness and forgiveness. It’s the favour of God. And as He bestows it on us, we should extend it to those who need our compassion and love. We are all broken in certain areas, and we need to learn to accept that and help mend the brokenness in others. Peter didn’t believe he was capable of denying his Lord. He swore he would never do it. But Jesus not only predicted it, He promised to pray for him until he was fully restored (take a look at Luke 22:32). And we’re called to do that too; to extend to other imperfect people the same love and grace that has been shown to us. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: ‘We must always thank God for you, brothers and sisters. This is only right, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love that every one of you has for each other is increasing’ (2 Thessalonians 1:3 NCV). Peter also said, ‘You must grow in…grace.’ It’s a process, so it won’t always be easy, but with God, we can work on it day by day.
Have you been less than compassionate with anyone you know recently? Today, dedicate some time to praying for that person, and asking God to help you extend grace to them when you next meet.
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