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:
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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,
Now It’s 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.