Earlier in the week, I shared something I read (once again) in “Just Like Jesus,” and I haven’t been able to get it off my mind. (I really cannot recommend this book enough, every page is saturated with wisdom, truth, and metaphors that will leave you thinking for days).
Before I dive into this, let me say I am addressing “difficult” relationships. Those where we don’t see eye to eye, experience misunderstandings, forget to exercise patience, etc. If you are in an abusive relationship, friendship, or situation- it is not wrong to leave. You are not giving up, and you are not doing anything wrong. You are brave and strong, and must do what is best for you. Jesus will love, support, and strengthen you as you walk.
Now, back on track, these pages discussed difficult relationships and grace.
We see Jesus offer unconditional grace to everyone, including those He was closest to, including BEFORE they betrayed Him WHILE He knew it was coming.
I don’t know about you, but there is no way I would have, or could have, displayed this level of grace. I would have walked away from these relationships to avoid the emotional and physical pain Jesus inevitably felt. But… Jesus stayed. He extended His hand, in grace, to fulfill the Lord’s plans.
And when I gave my heart to Jesus, I said yes to daily sanctification. Which means, becoming more like Jesus in every way. Even the ways that are scariest, toughest, and riskiest. Even the areas I just don’t want to.
Luckily, Jesus extends this same grace to myself, and forgives me even when I fail in this area, and many more. (Thank you and Amen!)
But wait… how are we supposed to do this? How are we supposed to extend grace and mercy to the extent of Jesus?
Jesus, the King of the
World Universe, got on His knees and washed the feet of those who betrayed Him.
While we probably won’t be literally washing feet, I believe we, too, should start on our knees. In prayer. In surrender. Surrender every grudge, every fear, and every preconceived notion or judgement to the one who knows the reality of EVERY situation.
Accept that, like Jesus and his disciples, “bridge building [and grace] starts with the strong one.” But when we extend our hand, when we offer grace, when we find ourselves on our knees, we will often find reconciliation, healing, and surrender for all parties involved.
I could never share this quite as beautifully as Max Lucado’s perspective, so I’ll share that below. I hope it simultaneously challenges and encourages you as you walk through this next week!