Extending Grace vs. making excuses
Recently I was in a conversation at work where someone was upset about something that happened during the workday. I was being logical and trying to explain the wrongdoer was very busy, and sometimes we don’t know what happens throughout her day to make her snarky. In my attempt to extend grace and help my coworker not be so upset I was accused of making excuses for this parent. I left the conversation confused and processing what it meant to extend grace vs. making excuses. I feel like they can walk hand in hand down a very blurry line.
We all know that person, the person who takes no blame, is never wrong and has an excuse for everything. They are late because they forgot to set their alarm when something goes wrong it another person’s fault. Then they are also mean because they are tired and had a long day and they get to be rude because of those things.
I’m the type that tries to look for positives in every situation. I don’t mean to make excuses, but sometimes I need a reason for why people do the things they do.
I try to extend grace before getting angry, not because I want to excuse the wrong but because this is what God wants us to do. He is very clear on being slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to become angry. God wants us to hear and be slow to grow angry. God describes an angry tongue as a horrible sword. However, this doesn’t mean that I am making excuses for their actions. But I cannot judge their actions, that’s up to God alone.
One of my favorite examples of this is the story of Mary, and Martha, and Jesus. Jesus came in from a long day of walking and teaching, and Martha was getting the food ready, Mary sat by Jesus and listened and learned. Martha came out and complained about the lack of help she was receiving, and Jesus said Martha you are worried and upset about all these details, Mary has discovered what’s important, and this will not be taken away from her.
I always thought Martha was the older sister and she was the one who got the party ready. Martha came out expecting Jesus to be on her side and instead reminded gently by Jesus that sometimes details and other things are not as important as the relationship. Mary was learning and observing Jesus, and at that moment the dinner or anything else wasn’t important.
I try not to judge or extend excuses. However, I often try to extend grace. Grace is more critical than reasons or judgment, it means regardless of what circumstance there is I will love you and try to be kind and love you like Jesus does. It like the old saying you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I try to be kind because this is what God calls us to do.
Jesus Visits Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
TTFN and God Bless you and Keep you 🙂