Have you fouled anyone lately? I don't mean on the basketball court, but on the court of LIFE?
Think about it....in the last 24 hours, the last 7 days...have you offended anyone, hurt anyone's feelings, retaliated in anger, been defensive over a real or perceived hurt or injustice. Those are just to name a few of the ways you may have fouled someone.
Maybe you yourself have been fouled. Someone has hurt YOUR feelings, offended you, misunderstood you, let you down or failed to live up to your expectations. No doubt about it, it hurts and makes for a really lousy day.
Let's face it, we all do it. We don't intend to, we don't want to, but we all foul others from time to time. Sometimes we are aware of it, sometimes we are not. But the fact is, we do it. We are sinful human beings and we fail. And just as true, we get fouled by others who mess up just like we do. They most likely did not INTEND to foul us...to hurt us, to anger us, to let us down.
So what do we do when we foul others or are fouled ourselves?
We have several choices.
When we foul others we can:
A. Justify ourselves.
B. Deny that we have done anything wrong (although there is rarely a time when we do not have at least a tiny part to play.)
C. Pretend not to notice that anything is wrong.
D. Seek to make amends, to correct the wrong and seek forgiveness and restoration.
When we are fouled we can:
A. Vow to get even.
B. Get angry and retaliate.
C. Get angry and cut ourselves off from the individual, ending an otherwise good relationship.
D. Refuse any attempts by the offending party to restore the relationship.
E. Try to put ourselves in their shoes and understand why they did or said what they did. Was it intentional? Was it an oversight? Did they even realize what they did or said was offensive to you or why?
F. Lavish grace and LET IT GO.
Most of our misunderstandings with friends, co-workers or loved ones comes from our unmet expectations. We expect those in our lives to act a certain way, treat us a certain way and say all the right things at the right times. We don't always do that ourselves, BUT...we still expect it from others. And, when expectations are not met, trouble soon arises.
If we could just learn to let our expectations be from the Lord instead of others, we would be so much better off. We are HUMAN and as such creatures we are going to foul others and be fouled by others. It is a given.
So, the next time you are fouled by someone....probably before the day is over.... instead of getting mad, seeking revenge or ending a good relationship, stop and try to view the situation from the other person's perspective. If you know them and know their heart, more than likely you will realize that what happened was NOT intentional. They did not think it through, they were busy themselves and probably just didn't realize that their oversight would be hurtful, their goal was one thing and yours was another, etc. Remember that today they fouled YOU, tomorrow you will probably foul someone else, so think how YOU want to be treated and forgive when it's YOUR turn.
Choose to LAVISH GRACE and LET IT GO!!!!!!!!!!!!! In the big scheme of things, relationships are too precious to allow little hurts and misunderstandings to ruin them. Satan loves to get us sidetracked from what should be our main goal....working together to point others to Him.
The next time he tries to throw you a curve ball by letting someone rub you the wrong way, give it back to him by showing the love of Christ and letting His love cover a multitude of sins.
One more time....LAVISH GRACE. I guarantee you, you will be glad you did!
2 days ago