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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 make me upset. 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.

2 Responses to “Grace for the Imperfect”

  1. Carol says:

    Obviously the friend doesn’t value oneself as much as others would so perhaps a change in course of redirecting just some of one’s attentive TLC to others who would appreciate it more rather than pearls after swine with of course keeping the door open for renewal?

  2. Marcie says:

    I thought I was going to be the one that got to make the point-why do I have to reach out again this week? Why can’t she send the first text? Rather than the joys you wanted to share with a friend, I have had 2 weeks of angst. We are the ones that had a death in the family. It was my son’s birthday that was one holy mess of a day because of his anger and hostility towards the world. I am the one who got a diagnosis from my eye doctor of a degenerative disease. It has been 2 weeks since my supposed BFF checked in-because I didn’t start the conversation? Does she care enough? What is going on? What is going on for sure is the bitter root- in me. I know her well enough to know she doesn’t not love me any more-but I also know she an be self absorbed and busy being busy. I need to extend grace-the same grace that I receive from our LORD. My love needs to be unto Christ and I wanted it from her as you told in your devotional. Change perspective, or do perpetual self harm. Thank you for helping me see the freedom yet again in forgiveness and grace and love. Why do I forget? I confess to you Lord, the bitterness I feel in my heart today, help me extend the grace, forgiveness and love even when I don’t want to-the things I need even on my worst day.

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