I used to think having an opinion that was different than someone else was a bad thing. My fear was, it could potentially cause more pain in my relationships than I was willing to endure. However, through the growing process I have learned that grace is enough to cover the flaws, or mistakes, that are in my opinions about the situations I face on a daily basis. When we are creating space for God to work in our life, we need to make sure we are making room for growth and grace.
We all struggle with creating double standards.
This is where we expect people to have it all together, to have all the right answers, and to pass the “tests” we place on them. Then, in one wrong move we decide to attack them and their actions or opinions is passive and covert ways. Other times we are not so passive or covert about any of the attacks we direct towards them. We preach vulnerability and grace, and yet we judge according to someone else’s faults and flaws.
We expect our loved ones to fit into our perfect mold, and yet we are unable to live up to the standards we are creating for them!
The phrase, “It’s not what you say but how you say it.” is often playing over and over in my mind. This phrase had turned into a reason for me to stop being vulnerable because what if I said the wrong thing the wrong way.
One day I realized this is not a standard that a lot of people could live up to perfectly in their every day life. Most people don’t always say things in the perfect and correct way, and for most people that will not stop them from saying what is on their heart.
Over the years, this one phrase had become a stumbling block to growth for me. I placed this standard upon myself and it prevented me from expressing what I felt God placed on my heart. This also created a place within my heart where grace for others was non-existent within certain conversations, and events.
This belief, that there was no room for mistakes, greatly effected my relationships, and it also effected my writing. Writing has always been an outlet for me, and I believe it has been a gift from God during times when expressing myself was a difficult process for me to endure in my face-to-face relationships.
The Holy Spirit has been speaking to my heart about diving deeper into my relationship with the Lord so that I can be confident in who I am.
In our relationships, we need to be so confident in who we are in Christ that other people cannot see the bottom of the well! Through this journey, I am leaning into the confidence of who I am in Christ instead of the opinions of others. When we do this, we live in the grace God has for our words, our mistakes, and the flaws within our opinions. When we receive this grace it is easier to extend it to those around us who make those same mistakes, and to those who are being vulnerable with their thoughts and opinions.
In our identity in Christ we can have boldness to speak up when we need to speak up, and through the power of the Holy Spirit we will say what needs to be said and how it needs to be said. Yes, the Holy Spirit brings conviction with the words He speaks to us and gives us in order to speak over others.
Growth is key to understanding what needs to be said, and how we need to speak. Jesus said it best when he said:
Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own? How could you say to your friend, ‘Let me show you where you’re wrong,’ when you’re guilty of even more? You’re being hypercritical and a hypocrite! First acknowledge your own ‘blind spots’ and deal with them, and then you’ll be capable of dealing with the ‘blind spot’ of your friendMatthew 7:3-5 TPT
Growth Mindset Starts with Self-Awareness and Grace
So while there is grace for when we say the wrong things in the wrong way; there is also grace when we take the time to grow in our relationship with the Holy Spirit and we gain some self-awareness.
There will always be a word that needs to be spoken, and we can’t allow the fear of offending someone to cause us to be silent. But the maturity to have the boldness to speak will always be through growing in our relationship with Holy Spirit. We need to allow Holy Spirit to sweep out all that is preventing us from speaking the truth in love.
But instead we will remain strong and always sincere in our love as we express the truth. All our direction and ministries will flow from Christ and lead us deeper into him, the anointed Head of his body, the church.Ephesians 4:15 TPT