Adam Faughn

AdamFaughnPeople often do dumb things. Trust me. I “are” one. There are some who will intentionally say something to hurt someone’s feelings, while there are others who will act in such a way as to bring harm to other people. If we look back over our lives, we can see where that has happened to us all. In most of our lives, though, these times have been rare. Those who intentionally harm others are, thankfully, the exception rather than the rule
However, when someone says or does something that is hurtful, it is easy to be angry and upset. It is easy to hold a grudge because that person didn’t treat me in just the right way. (Never mind that I don’t always treat others the right way.) I see the result–my hurt feelings–and run with those negative emotions.

Today, though, I’d like to offer another solution. It is one that is hard and that may take a long time to get used to.

Err on the side of grace.  Before you lash out at the offender (or, worse yet, behind his/her back), why not seek a way to show that you are not going to hold a grudge? Why not figure it was just a misjudgment on their part and that they didn’t mean to hurt your feelings? Why not talk to the person about it, instead of just lashing out about it?

Oh, it’s hard. There is no doubt about that. After all, you are hurt emotionally, and that takes some work to get past. But isn’t this the Golden Rule in action? You would rarely–if ever–harm someone else intentionally. You would desire their grace and forgiveness when you do hurt someone else. You would want to know what hurt him/her, so you can know what to avoid at another time.

So why not offer that same attitude to one who has offended you? It will take prayer, work, and heaping amounts of humility…

…but it will be so worth it.

QUESTION: When do you find it hardest to extend grace? Share your thoughts in the comments.

-Adam  Faughn preaches  for the  Lebanon Road Church of Christ in Nashville, TN