I’m a go along, get along kind of person. I do not like controversy or relish confrontation. That doesn’t mean I won’t stand up for myself in a given situation, but at times, discretion is the better part of valor. Yes, sometimes it’s more profitable to walk away then stand and fight.
I had such a situation when I was a young man growing up. A guy was picking on my younger brother, I told him he needed to back off and let him be. The guy turned and started with me. He was a bully and was looking for a fight. Nothing happened that day, but this back and forth would go on for months and months. He wanted to fight, each time I would walk away.
It finally all came to a head nearly a year later. I knew the only way for this to be finished was to stand up to him once and for all. The word spread and when the time came to fight, a small crowd of friends and on lookers had gathered. The fight lasted about 30 seconds, no I did not win. I may have landed the first take down, but a swift kick to the face and it was all over.
Much to my surprise, once all of the commotion stopped the individual came to me, looked down at me, extended his hand, apologized and said he had a great deal of respect for what I had done. No one had ever stood up to him. I looked at him, shook his hand and accepted his apology.
Do you find yourself in a place where you need to extend grace to someone who has wronged you? Perhaps it’s a friend or family member. Pray about how the Lord would have you handle the situation.
by Os Hillman
…”Peace be with you!” John 20:19
How would you respond to a group of fellow workers if you were their leader and you poured your life into them, teaching them all you know for three years, only to have them disband and go their own way when troubles came? What would you say to them after you were reunited for the first time? Perhaps you might scold them. Perhaps you might cite each one’s offense. At the least, you might shame them for their lack of faithfulness and courage.
After Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead, He appeared to the disciples. His first words to them were, “Peace be with you!” The word grace means “unmerited favor.” When someone loves you unconditionally, without regard to your behavior in return, it becomes a powerful force in your life. Such was the case for the disciples when Jesus appeared to them. They could have expected reprimand. Instead, they received unconditional love and acceptance. He was overjoyed to see them. They were equally overjoyed to see Him.
Jesus understood that the disciples needed to fail Him as part of their training. It would be this failure that became their greatest motivation for service. Failure allowed them to experience incredible grace for the very first time. Grace would transform them as human beings.
Have you experienced this grace in your life? Have you extended grace to those who have hurt you? Can you let go of any wrongs that have come through friends or associates? The grace you extend may change their lives – and yours.