T minus twenty eight and I'm in the bathroom huffing. Behind 3 closed doors, my bedroom, then the bathroom, then the throne room. As I sat there on the toilet, with the lid down, praying, I was frustrated at the situation.
There were still candles to be lit, lamps to be turned on, and a floor to be vacuumed and there I was in the bathroom hashing it out in prayer with the Lord.
Trying to remember the words I had read earlier. It was something about giving grace to those who don't deserve it and speaking words that give life to those who hear. It sounded better in my chair this morning while I was alone. But having to apply it twenty eight minutes before the party was not my idea of fun.
That's the trouble with character building. With allowing God to establish holiness in your life. It doesn't come in a pretty package with a bow. It doesn't happen sitting prettily in Bible Study with a finished lesson.
It happens twenty eight minutes before company comes while you're sitting in the toilet room deciding which road to take.
Within an hour my heart had softened and I extended forgiveness and grace and the boys killed us in cards. Thanks, Lord. I obeyed you and you still let me get stomped? (haha) In the early days, it would have taken me days to forgive.
Wasted days, time and energy spent stewing, and letting the bitterness and anger grow.
Giving grace would have been nowhere on my radar.
The very nature of grace is that someone gets what they don't deserve. Following Christ's example requires that we forgive those that don't deserve it. It requires that we love back when we've been hurt. It's not easy but it is possible.
When God gives you a command on how to react, He will equip you through the power of the Holy Spirit to carry it out. So here's the marching orders.
Watch the words that come out of your mouth. Speak encouraging words that build people up, according to the need of the moment. Let your words give grace to those that hear.