I don't know about you but when someone cuts me off in traffic, my first instinct is NOT to be kind.
I mean, seriously, this angers me, and it probably angers you too.
This and people who walk insanely slow when we are all just trying to get somewhere, those two particular situations definitely bring out a side of me that AIN'T too pretty, let me tell ya'.
Now here's the thing, if you are remotely involved in the church, you have probably been taught to "Forgive others" which isn't bad advice.
However, here's where it gets a little more complicated. When someone wrongs you, when someone's actions physically and/or emotionally harm you, odds are, you don't exactly WANT to show them grace.
It feels impossible to tell someone it is OK when really, you are still so broken on the inside. It takes time to come to terms with what has happened and to really let that guard down and love them even though they have wronged you.
Here's the deal, if you are a Christian, you believe that Jesus, someone who NEVER sinned, took the shame and hurt and condemnation on the cross.
But this wasn't just for you and when you lie, and mess up, and cheat, and hurt others, this was for those who hurt us too.
Ahh, that is where it is rough. It is all fun and exciting to say, "Jesus loves you!" or "No matter what you've done, you are totally welcome" until someone wrongs you. Then it gets a whole lot harder to love them.
What I am coming to terms with is that this is a process. This process takes reading the Bible, staying in scripture, learning from people you look up to, saying a LOT of prayers, and really finding out for yourself what the heck Jesus would do in this position himself.
Are we all called to show grace? Yes.
But this doesn't mean that we tell people that we are going to love them like Jesus does and then NOT actually love them like Jesus loves.
My friends, Jesus loves PAUL, someone who murdered Christians. Jesus loves the adulterer. Jesus loves the thief.
BUT, here is the deal. Jesus doesn't love the act of murder. Jesus doesn't love the act of adultery. Jesus doesn't love the act of stealing.
However, he still died for those who did and continue to do all of that (AKA for us).
It's wild, it is almost impossible to comprehend. I don't completely understand why this is something that happened. I can't begin to imagine how and why and I am regularly left with about a thousand questions.
But as believers, we are meant to keep following what the Bible says, not what humans say.
No matter where you come from, there is grace, there is forgiveness, and there is redemption. Sitting in the hurt and shame is not something that is necessary.
However, something that we have all got to work on is looking at others and viewing their mistakes differently than our own and HOLY MOLY this is not easy.
I am not in your shoes and haven't walked through the same situation you are in, but I can tell you that no matter where you are at you are loved. Take a deeper look at what the Bible says about how we should all be living, there is some good stuff in there after all.
Grace is a WILD thing, and while I can't fully grasp it, I know that Jesus calls me, and you to show that grace to others the best we can. My friends, I have some work to do and I really believe the whole church has some work to do as well.