Monday, February 27, 2012
Mercy Frees, Grace Heals
Today’s topic: pairing mercy and grace and offering it to those who have deeply hurt you. This is a SUPER hard topic for me! I’m one of those people that have a really difficult time trusting people and allowing them into my life. I’m not sure where I get that from, probably from just being hurt in the past by people I trusted or from living such a judged life growing up in such a structured religious environment. When people hurt me one of two things happen and how I react depends on how much I really have been impacted by that person; I either shut down and shut them out of my life or I get very down on myself and blame myself, taking the blame for the hurt caused. Both of these paths are equally destructive and not healthy in any way! When I talk about hurt I am talking about a deep hurt. I’m not talking about, you know, someone I hung out with sometimes was gossiping about me to another girl or the guy I’m dating didn’t remember my birthday; I’m talking about deep hurt from people you love and care about deeply turning their back on you or walking out of your life. I am no stranger to this kind of hurt. I have been in emotionally abusive relationships, I have had family members walk out of my life for petty reasons, I have had people that I thought truly cared about me turn away from me in times of struggle. I can honestly say I have forgiven and do forgive those people for causing those hurts. I happily and sometimes easily offer mercy, sparing those from what they deserve. Where I struggle is with the whole offering of grace part. Especially in relationships where I feel like I’ve really tried to mend the hurts or rebuild the relationship that was lost, even in my innocence. I tend to get this sort of entitlement about me saying to myself, “well, I tried!” ,“I don’t deserve to have to keep giving and not getting!”, “It’s their turn!” How petty and silly of me. Although those are warranted and honest feelings, how can I say that I have offered any manner of grace? Grace by definition is the giving of what is undeserved. That means I have to continually offer love and strive to mend these broken relationships. I’m not saying to allow yourself to be continually hurt and abused. I recently have come to believe that once you truly forgive someone and give them mercy they have no power to hurt you anymore. What I am suggesting is that once you are healed it is then your opportunity to help heal those who have hurt you. What an interesting concept! It’s a very Jesus-esk thing! I mean He was hanging up there on the cross, the ultimate betrayal had taken place, and he was still asking God to forgive those hurting him! I never really understood that… I guess I just had to grow a little before I could really understand the power that kind of love and grace has. It’s funny now that I look back, I used to always think offering grace was weak; but really it’s taking power from those that have hurt you and using it to heal yourself and them! Mercy frees you, grace heals you.