That is what my husband always says to me about hiccups, they always surprise you. It is also true in relationships, the hiccups and bumps surprise you. Since it is a surprise when conflict occurs, you aren’t prepared ahead of time for what is coming your way and your response will be, how can I say this…unfiltered? What is in you will come out quicker than you realize. Then the bigger surprise may be that you can no longer hide the real you. The quick to judge, get angry and respond part of you is out in full glory before you know it. You know what I am talking about, the unrestrained response that causes you to cringe in hindsight. It was all a surprise.
There is a place of maturity that we all need to get to. You may or may not have arrived at this place, the truth is not only do you need to be there, but you need to help others arrive as well. The place where the fruit of our life is no longer in question every time the bumps of life come along, instead a grace filled moment of forgiveness fills the space. Have you ever been more appreciative then when someone shows you unconditional grace in a moment that got the best of you? When someone says to you, “I know this isn’t how you wanted to react, let’s move on and believe for the good in each other.” We learned yesterday of one definition of grace; when God freely extends himself to us.
That is the example we are to operate in towards others, even in the midst of the hiccup, extend yourself toward someone else who may not be on their best behavior. Philippians 4:5 “Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.” I want to grow more in the surprise moments, how about you?
1 Peter 4:12 “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.”
Look at this part of the scripture, ‘as though something strange were happening to you’, surprises are not unique to just you. When you begin to think that you are the only one dealing with bumps in life, your perspective becomes skewed and you miss the normalcy of it. Fight the urge to live with a victim mentality. When you deal with people, there will be bumps, don’t be surprised by it.
We are getting close to the weekend, thankful for a great week in the Word with you! This topic of forgiveness hits close to home for all of us. It is a tool that we need to have ready and in hand throughout our days.
I will close today with this thought: While we were on sabbatical Steve and I practiced this saying, “If it’s not a big deal, don’t make it a big deal.” Agreeing to use this as our code of conduct every day, saved us from getting knocked off center by the surprises along the way. Enjoy your day, look for opportunities to sow seeds of kindness and grace in the middle of the hiccups that catch you by surprise!
Today’s worksheet: handout 9_26_2013
Love being in the Word with you!