I have a confession to make. After years of walking with Jesus, and studying the Bible, I still struggle with extending grace.
Perhaps you can relate. It is one of the most challenging commands from God that I’ve had to follow. Yet, it seems that the more I pray, and ask for grace, the more opportunities God creates for me to practice and extend it.
This past week, we purchased a new cell phone for my mom. As you can imagine, she was very excited. However, the process was not nearly as exciting as the purchase itself. After two unsuccessful trips to the carrier store and hours of long conversations over the phone, all of the issues were finally “resolved” for my mom to receive this phone. The day finally came, and I moved my schedule around to make time for the delivery specialist, only to be told that issues still remained and my mom could not receive her new device. My patience dwindled as they rescheduled the phone delivery to another date. My mom was still without a phone to which she paid for.
I eventually learned that this entire frustrating process was due to simple human error on the carrier’s end. The most frustrating part of the process is that no one would claim responsibility and ownership for the issue. If you think I was ready to explode by this time, you are absolutely right! I called the carrier, and, as some would say, I “let them have it.” My time was wasted. I deserved better, and they deserved to hear how they created a terrible experience for myself and my mother… or, so I thought.
This was the moment when the Holy Spirit gently asked me to count all the “I’s” and “me’s” in my thoughts as I justified my reaction. On the surface, my thoughts were not wrong. I genuinely had a poor experience. Behind those justifications, however, was pride, and that made me believe that I deserved something better.
God faithfully started reminding me of His word and His truth at that moment — “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12 ESV). He started by reminding me to humble myself. Being the first sin in existence, pride continues to tempt us today, just as it tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. Pride asks us to elevate our own value while decreasing the value of God’s Word. Pride forces us to place our own desires ahead of God’s commands.
He then reminded me to see others as Jesus sees them. I was operating out of my frustration which corrupted my ability to see others just as sinful and broken as I am. I held the carrier’s staff and delivery service to a standard that I could not be held to. I was not seeing them through Christ’s perspective but rather through my own plank-filled eyes.
Lastly, God reminded me not to withhold forgiveness. He reminded me of all the moments when I have messed up and, in vulnerability, have prayed that forgiveness and grace would fall upon me. Instead, I was withholding that same forgiveness simply because I saw those individuals as underserving.
After a few moments of repentance and prayer, God gave me the strength and humility to call back the representative and ask for his forgiveness. The long, angry letter that I had started writing to the regional manager of the phone carrier is still, unrelentingly, sitting in my drafts inbox. Yet God continues to tug at my heart. Jesus doesn’t tell us to ignore the ones causing us discontent, hurt, or persecution. Instead, He asks us to love those who “persecute” us. So, while it may be strange … and… perhaps unnecessary, the carrier will receive a fruit basket instead of an angry letter. We may not realize it at the moment, but as William J. Tom so wisely said, “Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some person ever reads.”
I invite you to walk with me as I humbly walk with Jesus to learn these truths and extend grace. Not for me. So He is glorified.
- Humble Yourself
- See Others As Jesus Sees Them
- Don’t Withhold forgiveness
Thanks for touching to us and remind us of what the Lord expect from us during stressful times. I have been down those roads multiple times and the Lord always irradiate me with his message. I learned to follow his message saying and forgiving those tha ha e hurt me as he forgive all our sins and faults without asking us,. God bless you and thank you for your testimony and the wonderful Starb 99.1
Thank you for the encouraging words Carmen. 🙂
Excellent reminder, thank you!
You’re welcome Jennifer! So glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your story. Being humble doing trouble times are hard at times to remember our humbleness. Your reminder is something someone may needed to hear. May God continue to bless you. Hope your mother enjoys her phone..
This was a humbling and vulnerable message of truth and character. And I’m sure many of us have had that same experience and exercised that same level of frustration. Thank you for sharing a message that God revealed to you, I’m sure, so you could share and speak to our hearts too.
Thank you Annie. You are absolutely right!
I have failed so many times but I keep justifying myself and the reason why I need to give someone a piece of my mind.
This was a reminder of God’s grace to me.
I repent and ask God for mercy
I pray that I see others as God sees them. And in humility forgive.
How do you love on someone. My ex husband is an addict. I had to kick him out of the house.
Lies gone for days spends all the money. My kids are hurt. He has a place to stay but wants to come back. I don’t want him back in the house. Dealing with this for 15 yrs . please advise
I wouldn’t allow him back unless he was 100% clean and showing steps of keeping clean, like attending weekly meetings or seeing a therapist regularly. I hear your frustration and pain Debra. We can forgive, but that doesn’t mean he has to come back and live in the same house with you without changing his ways. God Bless you and your family.
Thank you for sharing with such vulnerability and boldness Debra. I will keep you and this situation in prayer and reach out to you via email.
I hear your frustration and pain Debra. But forgiveness doesn’t mean he has to live in the same house with you without him changing his ways. I wouldn’t let him come back unless he was 100% clean for a certain amount of time and then actively trying to stay clean by going to weekly meetings and seeing a therapist. We can love people and forgive them, but that doesn’t mean that we have to let them live with us.
That’s a tough one for me today. Although i know it and live it. I have this specific person on my path. This yr has been a parade if “those people” and I’ve faired pretty well following through on the Word. Today and the next week will be particularly hard and when I act forgivingly I ALWAYS feel like I’m enabling bad behave but in truth idea the devil who is enabling. I’ll try, thank you Isha!
I know exactly how you feel Susan. God knows our struggles and He is so patient with us. So glad you were encouraged!
What an important reminder. I too have been struggling with this lately and the Lord reminds me to “ be slow to anger”. Thank you for this!
You’re welcome Megan! I have to remind myself of that verse often. We’re in this together. 🙂
Wow that was so beautiful and I really needed this today. So thank you Isha, you are speaking for a lot of people. We all need to hear and see these things in our lives and how we treat people. So thank you again so much.
Thank you for your kind words Fortune! I feel so blessed knowing that God was able to use what He’s teaching me to encourage you. 🙂
Debra, I suggest you seek the counsel of those who have dealt with the same situation in a loving way, such as NarAnon.
Thank you Isha for this reminder and for applying it in such a contemporary and practical situation. I can really relate. I think God is teaching this to all of us, along with not judging others. You have been an instrument to help carry that out. Thank you again for sharing this experience.
Thank you, Jonathan! This is so encouraging. God deserves all the glory in helping us on the path of sanctification.
And all over a cell phone, too. Our God is amazing and there is no limit to His love and goodness for us. Thank you Isha for sharing your Holy Moment…beautifully written. How many times have I gone through similar situations, such as you described here. Only this time, It was a wakeup call for me to drop any sense of entitlement I have, thinking why I ever thought I deserved one to begin with. Your words and actions were encouraging, and will go far in making me a better version of myself going forward. Bless your dear heart.
Thank you so much, Richard! We all need wake-up calls and it doesn’t matter how many. As long as we wake up and respond to His prompting. Thank you again for the encouraging words and blessings.