Welcome to Day 5 of the 31 Days series It Works for Me!
Somewhere, sometime, I heard some wise one say,
"I've learned I'm a whole lot happier if I just assume that everyone's doing the best that they can do."
Of course I'm not talking about assuming your son did the best he could when he was assigned to clean the bathroom and neglected to wipe the toothpaste off the sink.
Clearly, there are times when not-their-best needs to be addressed, particularly in our children.
I'm talking more about those things that can hurt your feelings. Or make you angry. Or offend.
The other person gets a free pass.
So what's in it for you?
First, so very often, your grace compels people to do better. That's good for you, right?
Second, if you decide to give grace now, and assume that people are doing the best they can ...
well, you're avoiding the pain of a heart darkened with anger.
Grace just feels better.
Often you don't know what the other person has been through. Chuck Swindoll gives a poignant example of this. He tells the story of a man riding the subway home after a hard day at work.
In the subway car were several children and their father,
who was completely ignoring the loud and rambunctious behavior of his children.
Finally, the man said to the father, "excuse me, your children are really bothering people on this subway car - could you please get them under control?"
The father looked at him tiredly. "Oh," he said, "I'm terribly sorry. Their mother has been very sick, and she died today. We've just come from saying our last good-bye to her at the hospital."
The moral of the story is that you just never know.
We're all broken inside. And the wonderful thing about giving grace
- maybe most especially when it's not deserved -
is that it can wash back over you and heal some of your own brokenness.
Grace ... it works for me.