One day at work, I had to check myself! I was actually battling whether or not to give grace. It was lunch time and I’d sent my coworker an IM (instant message) asking if she was eating lunch. She didn’t reply so a few minutes later, I walked to her desk and saw her reading another IM . “Are you ignoring me,” I asked. She snapped, saying she was busy and she had a lot to do. I looked at her, raised an eyebrow then I paused for a second. In that second I was trying to decide if she would get the head sling, eye roll, RTF (resting Tarekia face).
It was a tough decision but I chose to extend grace and realize she’s usually a really sweet person as we usually eat lunch together so maybe she was having a bad day. Even still, I just walked away silently, allowing her to have the last word. You see, I still wanted to give her what she gave me so I knew it was best I just be quiet. I also didn’t have the words. Jesus does that sometimes. He holds my tongue so I can’t verbalize the thoughts that run through my head. For that, I’m grateful. He saves me from myself.
The issue for me was simple: I was hungry (read: hangry). To know me is to know food is BAE. And when I want to spend time with bae and I can’t at the precise time I want to, I get a little feisty. At this point, it was a little after our normal lunch time and I’d been ready to eat long before lunch time. I was only expecting a favorable response from her. When I got the opposite, I wasn’t too thrilled.
There are always times when we want so badly to give people what they give us. We like to fight fire with fire. In those situations, it’s not always easy to walk away but it’s necessary.
In that moment, I thought about when I’m frustrated and overwhelmed. I’m not always the easiest to deal with and I want my friends to be understanding and forgiving. Therefore, I decided to extend grace. That doesn’t mean it was easy to do. The rest of the day, I struggled with whether or not I wanted to be extra petty but I refused to allow the enemy to have a foothold. He couldn’t win! I just couldn’t do it. I could have ruined a genuine friendship with the thoughts that entered my mind–He’s still working on my thought life. But I value her friendship and decided to let it ride and give her space.
In doing so, it allowed time for her to work through her stressors and for me to get out of my feelings (and eat). During this time, I thought about how God extends grace to me when I’m not so friendly to Him. He gives me room to make mistakes and He accepts me back with arms wide open. If God can do it for me and I’m made in His image, surely I can do the same for those people I do life with.
Maybe your situation isn’t this simple. It’s likely a little more in depth than lunch time blues. No matter how big or small, extending grace can ease the tension. It creates an atmosphere to address the situation and create a solution.
I could have snapped back but it would have likely pushed her over the edge. Since I didn’t, we were able to talk about what was bothering her and our friendship is still legit. We even found a workable solution to eating lunch. All because I chose to see her heart and give a little grace.