Philemon 1: 25:25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. What does it mean to practice grace? Well, it means being of gentle spirit. It means to share God’s love with other people. There are people who are in my life with whom I have trouble sharing grace. My sons’ latest girlfriends come to mind. Both girls are a bit rude. (one is thankfully gone). They have absolutely no consideration for other people’s time. They both put down my sons, one much more than the other. The one that is still around has gone as far as to call my son a baby because she was angry that he was fulfilling his obligation to the household before visiting with her. It was an agreement we made in exchange for taking them to and fro. See neither has a driver’s license due to medical conditions. So in exchange for going out of our way to take them places he agreed to take on an extra household chore. Mostly because she refused to take the bus. The taxi here is extremely expensive a five-mile ride costs about 14 dollars. Since we live outside of town it would be a 50 dollar taxi ride. She wants expensive restaurants that my son, who is trying to save money to move out on his own can not afford. When he tells her that he cannot afford the expensive restaurants, she screams at him that he does not love her. Both girls lie to get what they want. And the one has actually yelled at us telling us (repeatedly) that because we refused to take him on a date with her before he got his chore completed that we were stopping him from being a man. (making comments about stop changing his diapers). I know ridiculous right, because a man fulfills his obligations Right? Both girls worked very hard to change my sons into something they were not. But one is actually worse, she is a sneak and a thief. I say this because she took my sons visa check card and refused to give it back. She also is the reason I had to change the locks on my front door. For some reason she decided that she needed the front door key. I have a much harder time showing grace to the one that belittles my son, argues with him and us. She refuses to listen to anyone, she will listen to my son after much arguing. I have found no longer able to show grace to her. I find that a girl who yells and screams whenever she does not get her own way-to the point of running down the middle of a road screaming, to be a bit to handle. So how do I continue to show grace to this girl? At this point I really don’t know how, except by relying heavily on God to be a b it nice to her.
However, most people it is easy to find grace even the person that cuts you off in the checkout line when you have three items and they have a cartful. I have learned to grin and bear it and to smile at them. Afterall they must be in an awful hurry if they cut off someone with three items – Right?
One of the ways we show God’s grace to people I am sure it is not my own, is by being nice even when they are terribly rude. And yes, up until the running down the street incident I showed that girl grace even when she was yelling and screaming at me. Even though time after time, she put my son down telling him that he is not a man because he did not do everything she wanted. I was still polite. Even when we were called in to settle this problem between two adult children by her parents, who by the way never allow anyone to get a word in edgewise ( I see where she gets it), I would be polite. Even when we get up early and they do not and wanted us to stay and “discuss” this situation way past our bed time. We showed them grace and listened. However as I am writing this i wonder is this grace? I think this is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said to bear one another with grace and love. But Lord help me, my grace and love has worn out.
I recently told my son that showing people grace means that you ignore their negative qualities because we all have them even when we do not approve of their behaviour. I also added that God understand when we limit our contact with difficult people. He does not want us to be tempted past our abilities. Because we are after all human and sometimes it is hard to show grace. When you are unable to show grace, then it is best to stay away from those people who seriously try your patience. Afterall we don’t need to be walking mats just to share God’s love, there are others out there that are able to tolerate those people that you are unable to tolerate. While we are commanded to go out and share the world. Even Jesus knew that the rich man was difficult harder for a camel to get through the eye of a needle. Jesus could have spent many hours with him and probably helped him see the error in his thinking. But there were too many other lives at stake and too little time. Does that mean Jesus ignored him- no he sent someone else who had the time and the ability to teach the rich man. So let the ones that you have trouble showing God’s love to someone more capable.