When you hear the word “Grace,” what goes through your mind? What images and feelings bubble up? To be fully transparent, for most of my life, it never really meant much to me. I didn’t fully understand it. In fact, the song Amazing Grace seemed to move people, but it did not really affect me. To me, it was just a peaceful song. It was nice, yes, but I did not feel strongly about it. It felt a bit boring to me because it did not seem to apply to my life.
Most people say they would like less stress in their lives but seem to be bothered, mad, and upset about the actions of others. So many people seem to get so upset and worked up about other people’s opinions that differ from their own. Have you seen that recently? Hmmmmm. If we hold onto being right while everyone else is wrong, how can we ever have less stress and more peace?
We can’t. Not without Grace. I heard a definition of Grace that stopped me in my tracks. I never really thought about what Grace truly was or meant. I heard: Grace is giving people the opposite of what they deserve. What? Why would anyone do that? Well, that is Grace. That is the point. Since God gives us Grace for our mistakes, why can’t we give Grace to people who hurt us?
Logically we know that when people lash out, they are doing it from their own pain from their own journey. We may know that, but when directed at us, we take it personally, whether true or not. People will cut you off in traffic, people will be mean to you, even those who love you and you love back. It happened yesterday, it will happen today, and it will happen tomorrow. I’m not suggesting that what they do and say is OK. It is not, but why do we have to receive their pain transferred to us. I have a couple of friends whose traffic literally makes them angry. That is a horrible thing as there will always be traffic. It also causes me to step back and take inventory of my own issues. What “takes me out?” How about you? What takes you out? What ruffles your feathers and puts you in a tizzy? More importantly, what if you gave that person or those people Grace? The opposite of what they deserve?
Getting mad and yelling back only escalates the anger. Grace deescalates. Break the chain and serve yourself and those around you by having more peace and less stress in your life. You don’t know other people’s triggers and pain from their journey. They may not even be aware. I was not fully aware of Grace and what it meant. If it helped you and served your life, would you consider giving Grace more often? Consider it not because you are weak, but because you are strong. Be thankful you do not have the pain in your life that the other person has. I had talked to a close friend recently about this definition of Grace. Someone very close to him was angry and lashed out. He had every right to be hurt or upset. Instead, he bought flowers. Wow! It was powerful.
Oh yeah, more critical idea to consider, maybe even more important! Do you give yourself Grace? We will mess up. We will make mistakes. We will be mean to others when we are hurting. Make amends and give yourself Grace. After you take responsibility and ask for forgiveness, let it go. God gives me Grace. When I was praying, I heard a whisper to write this article. Did I write it for you? Amazing Grace means much more to me now than it ever did. It is hard to give Grace until you learn to receive it. I now have learned to receive it. How about you? Will you give yourself Grace?