17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Romans 12:17,18
I was going to write a very different post today, but I just read Romans 12 and got convicted, so I’m going to write about that instead.
Last week, someone close to me did something that hurt me quite deeply. It was not the first time this had happened, and this time what was done will, sadly, change our relationship forever. This person acted throughout the week as if nothing had happened.
Yesterday, I had a chance to demonstrate grace to this person who had hurt me, and I utterly failed at it. I was not grace-giving at all.
The fact that I was hurt deeply and that the person is unrepentant is a problem, to be sure. However, I can’t control that.
The real problem is what I did. Instead of offering my pain and hurt to Jesus, I nursed that wound. I was justified in my anger and hurt, but instead of turning it fully over to Him, I held onto some of it. It festered all week.
It didn’t turn out well.
I was rude to the person. There’s no excuse for that. It was a great opportunity to extend the grace that I have in Jesus Christ, and I completely whiffed the ball. I didn’t follow Romans 12:18 and do all that I could do to live in peace with this person.
Let me be clear: There are times when someone else’s actions or words require that you take a step back from the relationship. There is nothing wrong with having healthy boundaries. However, don’t repay evil with evil – in other words, show grace and kindness at ALL times, even when you are deeply hurt. It is possible to show grace even while establishing your boundaries.
Today I am repenting before God.
Today I will give a heartfelt apology to this other person for yesterday’s behavior. With the power of Christ that lives in me, I will in the future do all that I can to live in peace with this person.
Today I am grateful for grace and for second chances.