I am the oldest of four, so advice is my thing. Nothing pleases me more than for someone to ask my advice and actually do what I say. I have an opinion on everything, and I like to give it. I try really hard not to be obnoxious about it, and wait for people to ask my opinion. (Notice I said “try really hard,” not “I’m really good at.”) I have to consciously WORK at not bossing people around, because hey, I like to be the boss. Basically, I think of myself as everyone’s big sister.
I say all of that to say, I have LOTS of advice. I could run an advice column. For today, though, I’m just going to give one piece of advice that seems to come up in the relationships I observe more often than anything else.
My advice is: Extend the grace that you would like to receive.
It is far too easy for me to forget that just because my feelings get hurt, that doesn’t mean that the other person was trying to hurt me. He or she might be doing the very best that they can, and may need grace from me to cover what I feel is lacking. Think of it this way: the crusty old grandpa doesn’t ever tell his grandkids he loves them or is proud of them. The grandkids are crushed. They want their grandpa’s love and approval. What they don’t know (unless they take the time to find out!) is that their grandpa wasn’t told that he was loved when he was growing up. He is operating under the limitations of his circumstances. The grandkids can choose to hold a grudge against grandpa for hurting them, or they can extend grace and understanding, and let the hurt go. That’s just one example of many! I’ll bet you can think of other ways to apply my advice!
So, now that you know how much I like to give advice, remember that next time you’re in a quandary. I’ll be happy to weigh in on the situation. And if you decide to follow this current piece of advice, let me know what happens!