Thursday, May 21, 2015

Giving space and giving grace

We, and I include myself in that, are all too prone to criticizing  then actions or words of another. Now there are clearly behaviors which are out of line and which are violations of our organizational cultures. But at the same time there are things that we might call "quirks" of another - and we all have them where we need to give both space and grace.

As uniquely created individuals there are places that we will differ with others. In addition, there are things that others do that may irritate us. I certainly experience this and I also irritate others at times. 

There is perhaps no scripture that challenges me more than this than that of the the fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23). These are the characteristics that the Spirit exercises to us and which we are to exercise toward others. 

Before I am critical of others I need to ask myself if I am living out the fruit of the Spirit in my actions and reactions. This is not an excuse to ignore inappropriate behavior but it is a reminder to us as to how we respond. 

Often, those things that irritate me the most in others are things that I struggle with myself. That is something that I need to think hard about. We all do! 

Before we react to the words or actions of others, lets give space and give grace. And if we need to address it lets do it with the combination of grace and truth and an awareness of our own vulnerabilities and struggles. It would make a great difference in our relationships. I am so glad for how the Holy Spirit gives me grace and space and for those who love me who do the same. I want to be one who gives it to others.

Posted from Bloomington - Normal, Illinois

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