One of the most gentle people I know has a customer who hates him. He’s made up his mind and there’s no changing it. My friend goes the extra mile and then 7 more for his customers. I can’t imagine anyone hating him. Heck, I can’t imagine any one not liking him. But this customer sets expectations that are impossible to meet and change by the hour. “There’s just no way to win him over” says Pat.
Ever know someone like that? Someone you had to walk away from for your own health and sanity? A person who was angry and bitter . . . about everything?
Here’s a principle –
How you respond to the issues of life will make you bitter or better.
I’ll go further.
- If you’re a ‘law’ person, you’re headed toward bitterness.
- If you’re a ‘grace’ person, you’ve got a shot at a better life.
‘Law’ people use the word “should” a lot. “He should come back and fix that for free. After all, it’s only been 6 years!” “She shouldn’t have cut in front of me.” “They should let my kid be the starting pitcher. He’s earned it by playing right field all these years.”
‘Law’ people banter fairness around a lot too. “It’s just not fair.” “They should do their part.” ”I’ve been here longer than her. Why is she getting the promotion?” “Not fair it rained on my wedding day.” ”Not fair I’m getting laid off!” ‘Law’ people decide what’s fair . . . the way things should be and how people should act, then spend their life full of disappointment, anger and resentment because what they thought should be . . . wasn’t.
‘Grace’ people on the other hand, use the word ‘thank you’ a lot, especially when they’re talking to their Heavenly Father. They know God loves them immeasurably and He’s trustworthy, so they can relax. ‘Grace’ people take things as they come. ‘Grace’ people ‘live and let live’. ‘Grace’ people give grace (undeserved blessing) because they’ve been given Grace (undeserved blessing). They don’t presume what should be . . . they’re grateful for what is.
They find a way to be thankful for everything, no matter how hard.
I keep being haunted by Watchman Nee’s teaching that our response to every situation should be “What can I give?” Because Jesus’ death on the cross was totally about giving, our lives are to be marked by gratitude and giving, not expecting and judging. In Christ, through Christ, for Christ, we should be the most gentle, peaceful, laid-back people on the planet. Our Savior has already won the battle, secured our future, and holds the outcome of everything in His hand.
We have the potential to add peace, love and compassion to every person we meet. Granted, it’s easier with ‘grace’ people than with ‘law’ people. But we’re taking up God’s job when we battle with bitter people. If we can’t show them the love of Jesus, maybe we can at least do what He did . . . shut up – or just walk away.
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Question: Are you more of a ‘Grace’ person today than you were yesterday? Last month? A year ago? Will you decide to become more of a ‘Grace’ person starting now? Tell us here.
ACTIVATE THE MEN IN YOUR CHURCH
Small group mentoring can help you engage your men, build your core group of leaders, and transform your church. Our free resources equip you with all the tools you need to launch a sustainable mentoring program.