I read an article on parenting yesterday that left me scratching my head, and I'll admit, a little bit upset.
I had read most of the article nodding my head in agreement and then... then I got to the end. "Get it right." And that's all I could remember from the whole article.
Get it right. Really? Oh, that's all I have to do. Sure. I'll go do that right now. If I had only known it was so easy.
This article and my reaction to it are prime examples of what I've been learning in seminary this past year.
Everyday living with grace in my heart.
The author feels (to me) very ungracious towards struggling, and very one note in how we should respond when struggling. No grace. Where is the freedom?! I may never 'get it right'. What then?
And then there was my reaction. I had no grace; no grace towards the author who may not had meant those words to come across so harsh, so lacking in grace and freedom. I immediately felt angry and frustrated with someone I don't know, someone who is my sister in Christ.
Living with grace towards our spouses, our children, our brothers and sisters in Christ is impossible without understanding that everything we have comes from God. And that includes our sound theology, our spiritual maturity, our 'good' parenting skills and right attitude. We are not so big and strong and wise that we rise above our brothers and sisters, because we feel understand something they don't.
Our Father in Heaven has made us all differently, with different personalities, different strengths and weaknesses, different struggles. This past year, I have been struck with my sin of judgment and favoritism. I judge others who are not like me, those who don't struggle like I do, those who have different personalities and different ways of communicating and showing affection. I favor those who are like me, those who struggle with brokenness openly, and those whose personalities are most like mine.
I often struggle with self righteousness and fall into the temptation of not leaving someone's canvas blank instead of giving them grace to be where they are in their walk. We're all learning and growing and living different lives, but we need to strive to learn and grow and live alongside each other. With grace and by grace alone.
We're all in the same boat really. We need Jesus.