It's not about you... (Or me)
Written by Claire McCann
Have you ever noticed that we sort of expect our children to not struggle with a sin after we correct them for it? I find myself being frustrated that I have to correct and discipline for the SAME THINGS OVER AND OVER MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY! I've caught myself thinking "They should know this by now.... why do they keep on doing it?" I have no idea why I even think this because I do the same thing!! I sin and then run back to that same particular sin at times, so how can I not be graceous with my children when they do the same thing?
There is a scripture in Colossians 3 that has haunted me for some time now. Verse 13 says, " Make allowance for each other's faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you so you must forgive others."
Let's apply this verse to our relationships with our children. Paul is kind of saying to expect that others (including your children) will not be perfect and be prepared to extend grace to them in that moment. WHAT!? This is not saying that you let them get away with everything or ignore the consequences of it but that you mentally prepare yourself for other peoples humanity by being able to give grace freely as God does.
Just imagine this with me for a moment. What would it be like if we lived this scripture out so that our children failing us would not be an inconvenient frustration, but instead seen as an opportunity to share the hope of the gospel in that moment?
Taking this a step further, what if we applied this to our marriage and remembered that our husband is imperfect (as are we) and instead of expecting him to meet our needs perfectly, we chose to graceously serve him? Or what if we remembered our boss, pastors and friends are also imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. And we chose to take this verse seriously and make allowance for their humanity instead of take every hurt as a personal attack?
Man it is EASY to justify why I am entitled to feel hurt and that they are undeserving of my forgiveness when someone else fails me. Children, spouse, boss, pastor or friend.
The hard part is recognizing this unforgiveness is wreaking havock in me.
Scripture says unforgiveness leads to bitterness and that is like a poison that literally affects EVERY. AREA. OF. OUR. LIFE. The crazy thing is that this scripture in Colossians calls us to expect others to hurt us whether intentionally or unintentionally, and be prepared to forgive. This is sometimes the most exhausting battle to fight.
The battle against bitterness is fierce because its really a battle for our own freedom. Bitterness doesn't rob others of anything but literally robs us from the joy of life and relationships. We so easily make it about us! As if the world revolves around us and we deserve everyone else to live their lives to please us. We certainly couldn't live up to our own expectations in this.
So today... Let's make it a point to not take everything personal. That disobedient child may just be struggling with emotions he doesn't know how to decipher, not intentionally interrupting every moment of your day just to bother and embarrass you. Your spouse may just be fighting to find the Lord in their dissappointed and overwhelmed moments and not intentionally ignoring meeting your needs. Your boss may have financial worries that are weighing on him so don't take that harsh word so personally. Your pastor may exhausted from giving all they have to meet everyone else's needs and forget about prioritizing his own needs. Be graceous and don't take their imperfections as a personal offense against you. Your friends will have insecure moments where they long for approval and forget to give encouraging words to you when you feel you need them. Extend grace, expecting others to NOT meet all of our expectations and making the choice to NOT take it personally when we are wronged. It's not always intentional, though our wicked hearts can make us believe that it is.
It's not about me, or you. It's about Jesus. So we can choose to not take everything personally and walk in forgiveness as Jesus has first forgiven us.