We all need grace. Sometimes it becomes more apparent than at other times. There was recently a small misunderstanding in my family, and the need for grace came to the forefront of my mind. When I say small, I mean it. It was nothing, really, but enough to cause me to shed a few tears. That’s not always a bad thing, either. Sometimes you just need a good cry!
What the situation did was to tenderize my heart just a bit. It caused me to think about things in light of what really matters in life. And I realized that my small situation can be applied to bigger circumstances… like the current coronavirus crisis, as well as the current climate of division in our nation.
We Need Unity in Our World Today
This website has never been about politics, and it won’t become that today, but I’d like to explore the feelings and damage that division can cause. Division, whether among family members or citizens of the same country, is almost always a bad thing. It suggests a lack of unity, a state of mistrust, a condition that can breed resentment and misunderstanding. Here are some of the many famous quotes throughout history referring to division:
“A house divided against itself cannot stand” ― Abraham Lincoln [quoting the Bible]
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”
“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.”
“Differences will always exist, but division doesn’t always have to result.”
― Beth Moore
“I invite everyone to chose forgiveness rather than division, teamwork over personal ambition.”— Jean-Francois Cope
But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. ― Jesus Christ, in the Bible
What We Can do to Extend Grace
Most of us have heard at least some of these quotes all of our lives. I think everyone would agree that there is far too much division in our world today, especially here in our beloved America. We could spend time talking about how and why we got here, but I’d rather talk about how we can climb out of the pit of division we find ourselves in. I can start by asking myself a few questions:
- Do I ever disagree with someone just to be disagreeable?
- Am I sincerely trying to see the other point of view?
- Can I set aside my desire to be ‘right’ in order to really listen? and then, finally…
- Will I determine to love that person, even if we don’t agree on everything?
In these days of instant and excess information, it is easy to offer an opinion. Social media invites us to air them, while online and cable media seeks to shape them. Opinions are everywhere… as plentiful as grains of salt in your shaker. Everybody has an opinion and we’re all screaming at once. It can be difficult to filter through everything. The bottom line, though, is love and concern for each other. Our opinions don’t really matter if we can’t love and care for one another.
When it comes to resolving conflict, every wise person I’ve ever known has said something to this effect:
You cannot change the behavior of others. The only one you have the power to change is yourself!”
And it’s true, isn’t it? We might marry someone, thinking he will change. Or we might chose a friend and then try to change her. But it doesn’t work that way. In the end, the only person in this world that we can truly change is ourself! I can definitely see ways that I need to change in order to better get along with those in my ‘circle’.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”― Philippians 2:3
Will you join me in extending grace to others? Have a wonderful day, my friend!!