Stingy Grace

Something that I’m realizing about myself lately (and have been in denial about for a while) is that I’m fairly stingy when it comes to giving out grace. This week the Lord has decided it’s time that I actually deal with it. I was talking with a friend of mine over Sweet Frog Fro-Yo about how I really have no sympathy for people who are just straight up irresponsible. People who can never find their keys, are notoriously late, those who lose their wallet almost daily or just plain undependable. To me, I don’t understand how you can live like that without recognizing it as a problem and just fixing it! If you keep losing your keys, then DUH, you should probably start using a bag to carry them in so they always have a place! Well I was discussing my annoyance with people like this with someone who we both knew, was just like this. But I had already known that it was a problem with me and not so much with them. It was my lack of grace and I was more of confessing that I needed to get a better attitude about it.

Ashley looked at me and just said, “You know, Emily, just because it isn’t an issue for you, doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue for other people. You might have no idea what it’s like to be forgetful or to just not pay attention to details, but it isn’t the same way for me. And likewise you have issues that I don’t understand. We just have to have grace with people.” The way she said it was so loving and really helped me to see that, yeah this is actually something that these types of people probably know they have a problem and are trying to be better. I don’t know. Or maybe, like me in so many ways, they see it is a problem and are avoiding fixing the issue. Either way, who am I to not give them the grace that I receive from the Lord every moment of my life?!

Well, fast forward about 10 minutes and I go over to my car. Well, at least I went to where I had parked my car. It wasn’t there. I, knowingly, parked illegally. I had done it before and gotten away with it, but not Tuesday night. So I call Ashley and tell her I need a ride. She just burst out laughing – given our previous conversation. I don’t blame her – I laughed along as I thanked God I had an emergency fund I could tap into to pay the ungodly amount of $145 to get my car back. Side note: if you demand CASH ONLY! then when I bring you cash, you better be prepared with change.

So moving on to Thursday night Community Group where the discussion is: Sin. We went around talking about how we relate to getting out of sin, maybe justifying it or only regretting the consequences. But one that stuck out to me was how I will judge other people for being irresponsible but when my car gets towed I say, “well I knew there was a chance and I was taking a risk that I was aware of.” Really? Come on, Emily. Just say you messed up and move on. No one’s hurting here except you!

Moral of the story: We don’t know where people are in their walk, what they are dealing with or what their struggles are. If we think we deserve grace – then we shouldn’t be so stingy with it toward others.

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