Handing Out Allowances
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
A reminder I need on nearly a daily basis- even when nothing too “heavy” is weighing me down. I need this reminder when my husband forgets to put his dishes in the sink. When my coworker leaves a mess for me to clean up. When a friend is late for a coffee date. We are called to forgive and make allowances and more often than not, it can be done without much whining on my end.
But what about the heavy stuff? What about the times the words of someone else is the pebble that makes me crumble beneath the weight of what I am already carrying?
I must make allowance.
“They just don’t get it.” was commonplace within my inner monologue as my husband and I battled infertility (and continue to). And it is true- those who have not endured this trial truly do not understand how simple comments, even well meaning ones, can have a profoundly negative impact on your fragile heart. Hearing pregnant women complain about their pregnancies or listening to mothers complain about their children was enough to set me off. I would also nearly break down with comments such as this- “I am sorry you are having trouble having a baby. Man, I couldn’t stop getting pregnant”. Cue incredible heartache, jealousy even. I had a friend even tell me nearly right after I learned of her pregnancy, “we weren’t even trying”. I was not sure why she just blurted this out to me when she knew full our situation. I was honestly feeling immense joy for her and her husband and jumping up and down with the news. But this added tidbit felt as though it served as a reminder from her “I can easily get pregnant. You can’t.” Overreaction? Maybe. But the truth is, they truly don’t understand.
Whether it is infertility or whatever mountain you are currently climbing, despite the exhaustion of it all, we have an incredible opportunity to demonstrate Christ’s strength within us as we call upon Him and this is a powerful testimony to others watching. We also have a chance to demonstrate grace and love by making allowances for others who may hurt us, unintentionally and even intentionally, as we endure this trial.
With infertility it can often look like rejoicing for the blessings of others- especially the blessings you long to be given- knowing full well God’s plan is beautifully sovereign.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15
Or it can simply look like forgiveness.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
My dear friend, God is at work in your life and not despite this trial, but through this trial. While He is at work for us, let us not forget we are still at work for Him- showing who He is through our actions and words. Even (and especially) by making allowances for the offenses of others.
© Becky Borgman, 2014
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