#SelahSunday: Grace for Deeper Places

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."Luke 6:36-38 

Be merciful. Show compassion. Extend grace. The same way you serve it up, it'll be served back to you. 

I've learned that when working in a group, inevitably at least 2 people will be running late for every planned project. This is something that annoys me, because I try to be a very timely person. In my mind, early is on time, on time is running late, and running late just plain aggravates me. 

In fact, quality time is one of my love languages...which is probably also another reason why timeliness can be such a big deal to me. When my time isn't respected, I feel like it's not valued. Which further annoys me, because I feel like I could have been getting something else accomplished, instead of sitting around and waiting.

I'm well aware that everybody doesn't necessarily feel the same way that I do, and things happen sometimes. When they do, I have to extend grace. I'm also well aware that there are probably quite a few things about me, that might annoy others and they've probably extended me a whole lotta grace too. Grace for my deeper places. 

It's so important to be mindful about extending grace to others, because you never know what somebody is going though. You only know what you see going on, you don't know that they cried themselves to sleep last night, could be on the verge of giving up, or that they've been on their knees praying because they've been experiencing spiritual attacks all week. 

 So inevitably they do that little thing that they always do that gets on your nerves. Since you're beyond tired of it, and you got the TIME today, you decide to tell them about themselves. 

And you hit a nerve, you trigger an unexpected reaction because you're unaware of the layers of experiences, battles, trauma, and tribulations that fuel their behavior. You might know their name, but not their story. You don't understand the multitude of experiences that made them who they are today. So before you get ready to get all high and mighty, and tell them all the different ways that they can go about removing the speck in their eye...work on removing the beam from yours (Matthew 7 anyone?). 

Can you give them grace for their deeper places? For the things that you only see the surface of, but much like still waters run oh so deep. The more I work with new groups of people, the more I learn how to extend grace. 

So often we're not aware of when we're tip toeing (or tap dancing, depending on the day) around peoples deeper places until you hit a nerve. That's when you find out that you can't make certain assumptions, based off of how you feel about the situation. Just because that's how you talk to everybody else, doesn't mean that's the most effective way to communicate with this person...because of their deeper places. Their layers, the issues that we've all got, but don't share with just everybody because it's deep. And everybody can't swim. 

Sometimes other people's deeper places make us uncomfortable, because they resemble our own a little too much. They remind us of our own work that we need to do, and it's easier to just avoid it instead of working through it. 

Does that mean that your thoughts, feelings, and opinions aren't valid? Not at all. It just means that you have to strive to still reflect God's love towards them, in spite of how you feel. 

I'm so thankful, that God saw fit to extend us grace for our deeper places. Not only has He extended us grace, but He loves us too much to leave us in our mess. Too much to just let life drown us. Too much to just write us off. 

So this morning, remember that God doesn't give up on us. Since we're His children we're supposed to resemble Him, and not give up on others either. Extend some grace for their deeper places. 

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