We all face it at some point or another…
someone has yet again disappointed us. What are we to do with that? Are we to cease placing hope in said person? Are we to pretend as if nothing ever happened and move forward?
I still have plenty of growing in this area, so I am far from having all the right answers. What I am learning, however, is to set realistic expectations while still extending grace and mercy. Both are vital. My version of realistic expectations can come across as jaded and rather black and white. Although it is not wise for me to apply those alone, that practice is still necessary as it aids in maintaining a healthy relationship. Think of it as not casting your pearls before swine (see Matthew 6). Extending the grace and mercy keeps my relationships grounded and focused on Christ. This discipline is what reminds me of how often I have let God down. It takes me back through my times of inconsistency in my walk with the Lord. I am overwhelmed by what He has shown me, no matter how undeserving I have been, and cannot help but sense the calling to extend that same grace and mercy to others.
I recently had to go through this with someone, as I have many times before. I asked myself yet again, “When are you going to learn?” I had not maintained the emotional boundaries and fell back into an all too familiar place of this particular hurt and frustration. As I said, I feel I still have a long way to go in this area but on the bright side, the Lord is guiding me to practice quick extensions of grace and mercy. I turn that hurt over to Him, ask for His healing, then ask for His power to love others as He has loved me. I realize I have written nothing groundbreaking, but I hope you find encouragement in knowing someone else is going through the same thing that you might be. I hope you find encouragement to keep extending what He has first given us. This is a situation where I have no easy 1-2-3 step answers on how to move forward. At the end of the day, I desire to say that have done all I could to glorify the Lord in my actions and speech. With that, the best solution I have to offer is what I aim to practice myself…to love them as Christ loves me.