How do we overcome past hurts in relationships? How do two people combine separate and unique perspectives to create a satisfying and loving relationship? There’s a very special ingredient called ‘grace’ that must be added to the mix. It calls for extending to the other person the same grace that God extends to you. It bandages broken people and permits the defeated to develop winning ways to escape their pasts. It gives strength to those who struggle to be functional in areas where historically they’ve been dysfunctional. Grace restores the heart and resolves the troubles of a tormented spirit. It uplifts through loving-kindness and forgiveness. It calls in the favour of God. And, as He bestows it on us, we should extend it to those who need our compassion and love.
We are all broken in certain areas, and we need to learn to accept that, and to help mend the brokenness in others. Peter didn’t believe he was capable of denying his Lord. He swore he would never do it. But Jesus not only predicted it, He promised to pray for him until he was fully restored (see Luke 22:32). And we are called to do that too; to extend to other imperfect people the same love and grace that has been shown to us.
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: ‘We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds towards each other.’ (2 Thessalonians 1:3 NKJV)
And Peter adds, ‘You must grow in… grace.’ It’s a process, so you’ve got to work at it!