It’s Thinking Out Loud Thursday with Penny’s Passion. Today I’m thinking about grace. Specifically, showing others grace when it is hard or not something you want to do.
My mom and I had a conversation earlier this week about how sometimes we don’t truly know someone else’s situation or story or worries and how important it is to step back and give that person grace. We’re not in their shoes. We don’t know what’s going on behind the curtain.
Here’s a little secret about me. I hold grudges. Like big time. If I feel I’ve been wronged by someone it takes me a long time to let it go, if ever. I don’t let it consume me and it doesn’t affect my daily life, but every now and then something will trigger it and I’m right back where I started. It’s one big reason my mantra/word of the year a few years ago was “let it go.” Because I have a hard time letting things go. After chatting with my mom though and learning of a few things that happened to a couple of people we know this week I realized, I need to give grace to others – even those who have hurt me – because I don’t know their whole story.
I thought also about how there are lots of little ways I can give grace to others. Little things make a difference.
I can offer grace to my annoying co-worker who overshares sometimes – maybe she doesn’t have anyone else who will listen to her.
I can offer grace to the person who cuts me off on the freeway – maybe they are trying to get to an emergency, maybe they’re having a baby, maybe a loved one is dying and they’re trying to get to see them one last time.
I can offer grace to my husband when he chooses to relax on the couch instead of mowing the lawn or other chores – I know he’s had a stressful run at work lately.
I can offer grace to my cat when she pees on something that isn’t a litter box – she isn’t human, she can’t talk to me and maybe she’s telling me she needs more attention.
I can offer grace to the person who doesn’t respond to my son’s exuberant “hi!” when we’re out somewhere, maybe they didn’t hear him or maybe they aren’t a big fan of children or maybe seeing a child is painful for them for one reason or another.
I can offer grace to my son when he throws a tantrum over the smallest little thing – he still only three years old and the world is still a new and scary place to him sometimes.
And finally, I can offer grace to myself when I’m not perfect, when I make a mistake, when I say the wrong thing, or when I even fall off and think less than great thoughts about any of the above situations. Every day is a new chance to try again.
So, I want to work on trying to live a life of grace and remembering I don’t always know where someone else is on their life journey or what goes on inside their head. I know that not everyone knows my struggles or weaknesses. And I also know that just because I offer grace to someone else, it doesn’t always mean I’ll receive it in return. But all I can do is try.
And lest you think I’m getting preachy or that I think I am holier than thou, I am pretty sure I’ll forget from time to time and will fall off of my quest. But I hope to look back on this post and maybe it’ll remind me to try again and start over.