October 2022 Editor's Note: Give Them Grace
by stephanie toews, executive editor
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Pro 16:24
I’ve been thinking a lot about grace these days, particularly in relation to words. We have all been on the giving and receiving end of grace-filled speech. In the same token, we’ve also been givers and receivers of cruel words- spoken, thought, or texted. Words can’t be taken back, and even though comments or texts can be deleted, the damage they cause can’t be erased. In the digital age, with endless ways to express our opinions and thoughts, holding back in the heat of the moment and choosing our responses carefully requires an exercise of self-control and often a humbling experience to serve as a personal reminder.
Sometimes, I’m tired. I react quickly and harshly without abandon via speech, thoughts, or text, especially with my family members. Some people feel safer to let words fly; unfortunately, they are typically the people I love the very most. Other times, I’m patient and can slow down and step away to assess a situation before hastily responding. The outcome is glaringly different. When composed and coming from a place of love, even criticism can be well-delivered. The same points can be made and are much more likely to be received if correctly and graciously approached.
So how do we respond with gracious words? For starters, we can look inward at our imperfections and shortcomings. We can think about how we want others to respond to us when we are in the wrong or have opposing thoughts or opinions and extend that same grace. We all struggle with being hypocrites, and it’s much easier to find fault in others than in ourselves. We can also give those close to us permission to remind us when we aren’t reacting well and need to take a breath before continuing a conversation. My daughter’s, and my cue is, “give them grace.”
In a time when tension is high, inflation is real, the staff is short, and we’re all doing our best to thrive, I’m fairly certain this world (and our community) would be a much better place if all of our internal (and external) responses were to give them grace.
Originally printed in the October 2022 issue of Simply Local Magazine
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