Beth Thinking Out Loud

Thinking Out Loud – On Giving Grace

It’s Thinking Out Loud Thursday with Penny’s Passion. Today I’m thinking about grace. Specifically, showing others grace when it is hard or not something you want to do.

My mom and I had a conversation earlier this week about how sometimes we don’t truly know someone else’s situation or story or worries and how important it is to step back and give that person grace. We’re not in their shoes. We don’t know what’s going on behind the curtain.

Here’s a little secret about me. I hold grudges. Like big time. If I feel I’ve been wronged by someone it takes me a long time to let it go, if ever. I don’t let it consume me and it doesn’t affect my daily life, but every now and then something will trigger it and I’m right back where I started. It’s one big reason my mantra/word of the year a few years ago was “let it go.” Because I have a hard time letting things go. After chatting with my mom though and learning of a few things that happened to a couple of people we know this week I realized, I need to give grace to others – even those who have hurt me – because I don’t know their whole story.

I thought also about how there are lots of little ways I can give grace to others. Little things make a difference.

I can offer grace to my annoying co-worker who overshares sometimes – maybe she doesn’t have anyone else who will listen to her.

I can offer grace to the person who cuts me off on the freeway – maybe they are trying to get to an emergency, maybe they’re having a baby, maybe a loved one is dying and they’re trying to get to see them one last time.

I can offer grace to my husband when he chooses to relax on the couch instead of mowing the lawn or other chores – I know he’s had a stressful run at work lately.

I can offer grace to my cat when she pees on something that isn’t a litter box – she isn’t human, she can’t talk to me and maybe she’s telling me she needs more attention.

I can offer grace to the person who doesn’t respond to my son’s exuberant “hi!” when we’re out somewhere, maybe they didn’t hear him or maybe they aren’t a big fan of children or maybe seeing a child is painful for them for one reason or another.

I can offer grace to my son when he throws a tantrum over the smallest little thing – he still only three years old and the world is still a new and scary place to him sometimes.

And finally, I can offer grace to myself when I’m not perfect, when I make a mistake, when I say the wrong thing, or when I even fall off and think less than great thoughts about any of the above situations. Every day is a new chance to try again.

So, I want to work on trying to live a life of grace and remembering I don’t always know where someone else is on their life journey or what goes on inside their head. I know that not everyone knows my struggles or weaknesses. And I also know that just because I offer grace to someone else, it doesn’t always mean I’ll receive it in return. But all I can do is try.

And lest you think I’m getting preachy or that I think I am holier than thou, I am pretty sure I’ll forget from time to time and will fall off of my quest. But I hope to look back on this post and maybe it’ll remind me to try again and start over.

Linking up with Penny’s Passion

11 thoughts on “Thinking Out Loud – On Giving Grace

  1. What an excellent reminder! I think this is a great thing to work on. Everyone in this world can all use and have more grace and giving it out. I know I’m probably guilty of not doing that. Something (after reading this post) I would love to change.

  2. I really needed to read this.
    Often it is easier to hold a grudge than think of what the person who has hurt you is going through. I’m not good at letting things go and I also get frustrated with oversharers but I like how you put this in perspective.
    The quotes are beautiful.

    1. Thank you! I don’t expect to completely change my outlook overnight, but I sure hope to do better. Each day is a new day to try anyway! Love to you!

  3. I’ll always believe the second best outcome of acting with grace is that realization that you’ve failed to do so (the first being, of course, having grace.) Because if we recognize when we fail to do so, it at least shows us it’s in our plan. In many cases, people don’t even consider it a possibility!

  4. Oh, man… I struggle with this but it’s such a beautiful and powerful lesson. I’m trying to give forgiveness to people I feel have wronged me or (I believe) possibly woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Sometimes it tears me apart way longer than it should (I’ve always been extremely sensitive, and like you, have a hard time letting it go) but that sh*t is poison… Thank you for this; giving grace is something I’d like to work on myself 🙂


    1. Yes, it is a struggle! I want to print some of these quotes off to put various places around my office and home to try and remind myself. I know it’s going to be a battle but it’s one I’m willing to fight. This world has become so cynical and hard. Thanks for your sweet words and thoughts! <3

  5. I love this! I try to think about this as much as I can – the whole idea that you don’t know what someone is going through. It’s good to remember to not judge too harshly.

  6. This is a wonderful idea, Beth. Of course we aren’t perfect and we’ll be bound to fall off the ‘grace wagon’ sometimes. It’s the thought and effort that counts. Great message today. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. I struggle with grudges too. I’ve been hanging on some for over 15 years now, which is silly because I know I’ve changed a lot in 15 years. I don’t want to be held back by who I was then, so I why am I trying to hold back them for who they were. I often find that many grudges that have lasted for that long are often more about me than them, that their actions, knowingly or not, uncovered a weakness about myself I wished I could hide. It doesn’t excuse their actions, but it helps explain my reaction.

  8. I love this. I am often too hard on the ones I love and on myself. It’s hard to give grace sometimes, but it’s often well deserved. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.

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