“So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, ‘You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” – (Acts 11:3) Though this may not sound like much to us today, at the time, the Jewish believers were shocked and confused at the potential scandal that Peter would dare enter the home of one who was considered unclean. Far worse, he had not only gone into the home, but he had eaten there – which was a huge cultural faux pas at that particular point in history.
That being said, the early followers of Christ did something very right – they chose to hear him out – to truly listen to what he had to say first, before they began throwing stones. As Peter shared with them, all that God had shown him, they were in awe and realized that God had sent His Holy Spirit and the message of salvation for all people, not just the Jews. “When they had heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, ‘So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” – (Acts 11:18)
What if all people in the church were given the same opportunity to share their story? Imagine the misinterpretations that would become clear, and the skewed perspectives that might be seen through His lens rather than our own… Perhaps the solution can begin with each of us. If we are uncertain about something that another says or does, we can go directly to the source and ask for clarity with kindness. Humbly, we can seek to understand. Beyond that, we are meant to extend grace to one another. Each of us are in the process of being made more like Him. However, not one of us has yet arrived. Some days will be better than others, and on those “other” days, grace is the best gift that can be given.
what the heart does hold;
the truth to behold.
Only by grace,
will story be known;
in the safety,
where kindness is shown.
Let our hearts hear,
what others need speak;
so truth is told,
when answers, we seek.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness and grace, and that no matter what we have done, we can always seek Your throne. Thank You that You receive us as Your children, covered and cleansed, the moment we turn away from our sin and toward You. Forgive us for not extending grace to others, as You extend it to us, and teach us to ask if we have questions, and to give grace and listen. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may move as You call us to move. Help us to lavishly love and extend grace in such a way, that others are pointed directly unto You. May many come to know You as Redeemer and King. In Your mighty Name, Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8