The best thing about relationships, of any kind, is also the scariest: vulnerability. When every is good, that level of comfort and security feels awesome, but when things go bad it can be the hardest thing to deal with.
With every relationship, there are expectations. There are certain things we are looking for in and from every relationship we have. So, we expect people to do certain things and behave certain ways. Effectively communicating our expectations may not always happen, but we want what we want (when we want it). Unfortunately, there are gaps between what we expect and how people behave.
While these gaps can’t be controlled, how we respond is totally volitional. We have to choose whether we are going to assume the worst, or believe the best. There is really no middle ground because we’re going to do one or the other.
Assuming the worst, is a miserable pessimistic view. These are the people who cloak their negativity under guise of “keeping it real”. Believing the best appears to be the act of the naïve, but this is actually what God wants us to do. Paul teaches that love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Cor 13:7).
Believing the best, in the face of every reason to assume the worst, is a sign of grace. You see, grace from God is undeserved favor. God would be just if He gave us what we deserved, but it is His grace that looks past our imperfections and gives us what need. If God, who is perfect can do this for us, why can’t we, who are imperfect, do this others? The very fact that we know our own imperfections and still receive grace from God, should compel us to give grace to others. When we give grace to other people we are releasing them from our preconceived expectations; freeing them to be and become who God wants them to be. When we give grace to others, we acknowledge the fact that we aren’t perfect, and we don’t expect others to be perfect either. When we give grace to others we allow people to have the benefits of the relationship without the pressures to always “get it right.”
People who love each other really don’t want to hurt or disappoint each other. So let us learn to give grace to others. Grace it forward.
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