START HERE

Today’s Truth

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

(Hebrews 12:15, NIV)

Friend to Friend
It wasn’t a major thing she did to upset me. It was many minor things over many days. For instance, I shared a joy I was thrilled about, but she changed the subject. I sent her texts of love from the bottom of my heart, and she was either slow to respond, or didn’t respond at all. I showed love, but she didn’t invite me to things other friends were invited to.

Inside, I was ready to write her off.

I’ve invested so much, but I am done with her.

Consciously and decisively, I created distance when we were together: talking to her less, giving her short answers, avoiding eye contact, and paying attention to others more.

But at home, I felt convicted. What is true love if it is dependent on another woman’s response?

I’d looked to her response to define my worth. But in reality, my love isn’t unto her – it is unto Christ. I’d lost perspective.

Worst of all, I’d allowed something horrible to grow within me.

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many (Hebrews 12:15, NIV).

A bitter root was forming.

Do you have a bitter root forming within? Toward a co-worker? A husband? A friend? A child?

There are 3 ways to pull out bad roots:

  1. Forgive.

Christ forgave us when we were still sinners. Likewise, we forgive others while they are still imperfect. This doesn’t negate or defend bad actions, but it frees us from carrying the weight of them.

  1. Extend grace.

We can extend to others the very grace we could only hope to receive on our worst day.

No one is perfect. We all are growing. We hit busy seasons. Tough seasons. Rough seasons. Pain. Trials. Tribulations. Huge mistakes.

Christ-like love bears each other’s weaknesses, so as to carry the other person’s cross, even if only for a bit. This kind of love changes relationships, brings back marriages and restores what has been lost. It resurrects.

  1. Receive grace.

Undoubtedly, I had eyes for myself in this situation. There was more to this woman’s responses. I could either beat myself up for what I’d done wrong or receive the grace Jesus paid for. The first option would keep me stuck in perpetual self-harm, but the other would set me free.

You too can let yourself off the hook, because Christ is not condemning you. The second you confess, you are blessed by His grace.

Lets Pray

Father, teach me true love. Grow me in receiving and giving grace. I don’t always see things clearly, but You do. Give me grace to see through Your eyes.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now Its Your Turn

Where do you feel bitterness in you? How might you need to forgive, give grace and receive it afresh today?

More from the Girlfriends

Kelly Balarie, blogger at Purposeful Faith and author of the new book “Battle Ready: Train Your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously” is passionate about joining hands with women who often find themselves stuck in the pits of life. Step-by-step, word-by-word, her dream is that together they can emerge better – fear, fret and panic-free. Get all of Kelly’s Purposeful Faith blog posts by email for a dose of inspiration and encouragement.

11 Responses to “Grace for the Imperfect”

  1. Bernadette says:

    Thank you for this message. I am guilty of this. Sometimes we are too tough on others. I need to have more compassion towards others. God has forgiven me over and over again.

    I am raising two daughters and I also have an adult daughter. I am guilty of being bitter towards my children but today I receive the grace of God. I forgive and I release my children in God’s loving arms.

  2. Kawanza says:

    Thank you God for forgiveness and your mercy every day I am guilty of not forgiving and being better Lord I need you, we need you to help us in this area take the bitterness away restore us back to innocents and fill us with your love. Father God I thank you for your word and praise you forever. Amen

  3. Tessie says:

    Thank you for this. I just recently had someone open my eyes I am growing into an embittered resentful woman. I didn’t realize. They hit the nail on the head. I am learning. You didn’t just give a wonderful story. You gave a lesson on how to deal with the feelings that erupt. I needed this. I need to hear not only how someone handles their own truth but the …method on how to apply it to my own life. You taught that. :). All. To often we forget to forgive. We get so wrapped up in our own emotions we can’t “see” the other side. Teh full tapestry of a life is multifaceted and i sometimes forget that. Thank you!!! god Bless you!!!!

  4. Michelle says:

    This really hit home this morning. my husband and I had an argument a week ago and we avoided one another all week. A whole week,lost and we can’t get it back. I am stubborn and so is he. Neither of us wanting to bend or offer grace and forgiveness. God has sent messages all week to me pushing me to restore and I ignored all of them. But your message broke me and I realized how unrelenting I am being. I need to offer forgiveness regardless of how it is received. Thank you for speaking to me this morning.

  5. Tonia says:

    This really hit home this morning. My mother and I are really close. There are many times, I don’t like it because I think my mom tends to take our relationship for granted compared to my brothers. Sometimes, I have to distant myself just to be ok with our relationship. I can see the bitter root growing. Thanks for the reminder. I have to forgive and love despite of the situation. Thanks!

  6. Nikki says:

    I’m not sure if it’s bitterness any more or just giving up. I have tried for so long to receive unconditional love from my mom. But no matter what we do, if it is not on her terms, then it’s not good enough. I’m 52, I don’t have it in me any more. I just want to stay away. Don’t get me wrong, if a situation comes up, I’ll be there in a heart beat. But right now, I just can’t. It breaks my heart. All I’ve ever wanted is her love, true mom love.

  7. Barbara says:

    The timing of this devotional could not have been more perfect (thank you, Jesus!). I, too, must turn to God and not rely on family or friends who more often than not, will disappoint in the end. I will learn to pour my heart out to God, not people who may just turn their backs on you when you need them most. And, most importantly, I must not blame them for disappointing me; I must rely on God and forgive those who after all are just human.
    Nikki, I experienced exactly what you’re going through now and spent my life trying to please my mom ( everything I did was with the thought ‘ Do you love me now?’ …. ‘How about now, mom? ‘) . When she was dying, I stayed with her 24/7 for weeks at a time, despite a lifetime of heartache caused by her. I prayed incessantly for God to help me forgive her and for Him to forgive her as well. During one of her lucid moments, she said to me, “ I am SO sorry. We wasted so much time. I do love you and appreciate all you’ve done for me my whole life.” She had never apologized before and I waited my whole life for her to say and actually mean what she said! So, yet again, in the end, God did not disappoint and was there to bring about our much needed closure.
    So, stay the course, Nikki. God will guide you and please remember, no human can match the love God has for you! Try to believe that with all your heart. God loves YOU!

  8. Bernadette, I am so grateful that you have been able to receive God’s grace. What a relief that will be to your heavy-heart.

  9. Tessie, the feelings can be overwhelming, can’t they. Be encouraged, you are doing so well for letting them go!

  10. Nikki, I can only imagine how heavy this pain must feel on you. I know your prayers are heard. I am thankful that you are receiving the grace that you need, in your time of need. I am praying for you too!

  11. Barbara, I love that! God’s love is the biggest, hightest and most vast. So, well said!

Leave a Reply

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8