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The Grace to be Wrong

Let's face it, we have all been wrong at some point in our lives, but if we ever want to succeed at something, we necessarily have to fail to get there, learning our lessons along the way.

In Colossians 3:13 it says, "Bear with each other and forgive one another, if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Bear with each other! When I hear this it sounds to me like the person writing the passage is telling me to be patient with my brother and to give him the grace to be wrong, just like God does with me every day.

I have three examples of how God taught me how to extend his grace to others.

1. My daughter came to me many years ago and told me she wanted to quit her gymnastic team. She said it was because her coach was very mean. (her words). I told her something that I learned from my days as a runner. I said,"You will never appreciate a good coach until you've had a bad one, but sometimes you have to suffer through the bad one to understand the good one." I didn't want her to learn that quitting was an option, but wanted her to understand what it looked like to give someone the grace to be wrong.

2. I have two older brothers. Being the youngest of the three naturally puts me at the bottom of the pecking order. Anyone in this situation understands that one can end up being your ally, the other your enemy. This can change over time, but in the case of my eldest brother, it has to this day never ended. He is what most people call a "right" fighter. He will walk you to your car through three parking lots, all the while convincing you that the sky is green and that white is black untill you finally agree out of frustration.

Because of his second D.U.I., He asked me if I could drive him around and take care of some things he needed to do. As I drove he explained to me just how wrong I was about a Bible verse we were discussing. As this was happening I was silently praying for him when God gave me a question to ask him. Just for the sake of the story let's call him "Jim."

I said, "Jim, in all the years we have been around each other, have you ever given me the grace to be wrong?" He became very silent, staring at the floor with a look of surprise, he finally said "NO." He didn't say another word for the rest of the trip.

3. I asked my wife one time since she was out shopping, if she would pick up a bathroom sink faucet for me because it was my day off, and what better to do on my day off than repair everything! When she brought the box to me she smiled and said, "I bought this one because it says three easy steps." After four trips back and forth to the hardware store, (not even kidding) I finally got it to work! Lesson: Never Trust The Box!

My wife and I talk about that day every once in a while, and have a good laugh. We even use the term, "three easy steps" when something turns out harder than we thought.

Grace means to get something that we do not deserve; unmerited favor. I think these the stories illustrate our need for God's grace and our individual need to extend to each other something that is undeserved and much needed if we are to love as God loves us.

"May the Lord bless and protect you; may the Lord's face radiate with joy because of you; may he be gracious to you, show you his favor, and give you his peace." Numbers 6:24-26.

Wake Up Christian

To "bear with each other" is to be patient with my brother and to give him the grace to be wrong, just like God does with me every day.

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