give more grace

For a long time I’ve dealt with relational disappointment in the same way. If a friend hurts me and I (try to) do one of two things:

1. Choose to forgive the offense without bringing it up with them.

2. Go to them and explain how I was hurt and work it out.

However, after being repeatedly let down by the same person, it becomes harder and harder to forgive. And sometimes I decide my expectations for that person are obviously too high, and I need to lower them and maybe even take an emotional step away from the friendship. I’ve always called this wisdom. It’s not wise to allow ourselves to be walked on, abused or repeatedly hurt by someone, I’m sure we can all agree on that.  However, sometimes its our closest friends or family that let us down over and over again. These people genuinely love and care for us, but let’s face it, we’re all imperfect and we all make mistakes. But in the past I’ve found myself pulling away from even those closest to me when I am hurt again and again. I lower my expectations and call it wisdom, when really, it is pride.

It’s my pride that keeps me from forgiving, from extending grace, from letting go. It’s the part of me that says, “I deserve better” or “You’ve hurt me one too many times”. It’s my pride that overlooks the fact that I myself have been the one to hurt as well.  I too have messed up, again and again.

This past week I was hurt by a friend. It was not done intentionally. But instead of automatically extending grace, my pride rose up and I said to myself, “fine, I’m just not going to trust that person anymore.  I’m going to pull back from that friendship and lower my expectations”. However, after speaking with that friend a few days later, and hearing her heart, so open and honest, and full of love, I was DEEPLY convicted.  I was convicted of my insane pride. I was convicted of my unforgiving spirit.  I was convicted of the fact that though she has ALWAYS extended endless grace to me, I wasn’t willing to do the same for her.

And then God spoke to me.

When someone we love hurts us, its not the time to decrease our expectations, but to increase our grace.

This is what relationship and community is all about. It’s about sharpening one another as we struggle through our faults and weaknesses.  It’s about God using those close relationships to refine us, mold us, and ultimately make us more like Christ. It’s about pressing in when we want to run away. It’s about grace – His grace for us, and our grace for each other.

So we forgive one more time. We give another chance. And we look at ourselves with honestly and humility, realizing how much we depend on God’s grace for every good thing in our lives.

8 thoughts on “give more grace

  1. This is so beautiful Heather- I struggle with this so much- I definitely pull back because I do not like to be hurt and am extremely guarded in the first place. I’m going to have to read this one over and over again and your post couldn’t have come at a better time in my life!! Thanks friend

  2. I agree. Forgiving is the best soul medicine. Holding grudges or resentment is like having others hold your mind and soul hostage. Let go… forgive…be graceful…

  3. This is really beautiful! Right timing too. Forgiveness is powerful and so essential for our own peace and for expanding the size of our hearts. Love this: It’s about grace – his grace for us and our grace for each other.

    Beautiful picture of you and your son! 🙂

    Fatma XO

  4. Wow. I experience the same thing. There is advice out there that says if you can’t cut people out your life who give you stress then limit the time you spend with them. Yet I find this a challenge and I’d end up staying away from my whole family just about. There is something about that that just doesn’t sit right. You’re post has made me see it’s about being open, loving and offering grace even when your are hurt. Thanks 🙂

  5. thanks, you have no idea how much this blessed me, now if only I could pass it on to others who are hurting.

  6. hi heather… i saw you follwed me on twitter the other day so i wanted to stop by and check out yer blog… i absolutely loved this post.. i actually posted something about that feeling of being used or walked on recently… there really is a very fine line between forgiveness and letting that person consistently walk all over you… i wonder, you can still forgive in your heart i think, but not let that person be a tool the enemy uses to tear you down, hurt you, etc..
    i constantly battle this…what should i do when someone repeatedly is hurting me, and is ignorant of it.. they dont get it…
    but Gods grace has been everlasting and consistent… i know this.. this is something i need wisdom on.. for sure. ..because i am sure God does not want me to hurt consistently at the hands of others too…
    haha, glad i wrote you a book =) just musing ove this topic =) so glad i stopped by…

  7. Heather, Love your post. I love how God convicts me and reminds me of the grace he extends to us each and every day. How are we to be the hands and feet of Jesus and seek those that our lost if we aren’t extending grace as he does for us. Thank you for sharing your heart and the wisdom that God is giving you for his glory. Have a blessed day! Found you from the Wiegands link up.

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