2 Corinthians 13:11
“Finally brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
If I am being completely honest with myself, this idea of giving grace to one another, is an area I suffer in. It’s funny because my name means grace, and yet I am so horrible at giving it! I was a rough kid, full of anger and rage, and definitely not the forgiving type. My brothers could definitely attest to my character. If they wouldn’t share legos with me, I would scream. If they didn’t listen to me, I would cry. If they even looked at me, I would punch them. Some might say that I was simply performing my little sister duties, but looking back now, it was just one of my biggest flaws shining through, and I caused disunity and division amongst us. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” I was not gracious, or loving, and my words did not build up. I know I was young, but one of my biggest regrets in life is not pouring into my brothers during our childhood and early adolescence. This became very clear to me in Jr. High and High School. I saw the way some of my friends treated and were treated by their siblings, and I longed for that. I longed for deep connections with my brothers, and more than anything, I wanted them to trust me, and come to me for encouragement. For some time I was just bitter, wondering when my brothers would step up, but I eventually realized that the equation was double sided. Encouragement, grace, communication, all of it had to start with me. So I started to shut up and listen to them when they talked to me. I allowed them to purposefully annoy me, without getting too ticked off. I began to drive with them to church, so I could spend one on one time with them. I started to check up on them and sit in their rooms. But the most important thing I did was pray. When we would have big fights, I would write them letters, or share scripture with them, and it changed our relationship completely. It was the word of God, sharper than any double edged sword, that created unity and multiplied our love for one another. I pursued restoration, comfort, and peace, and God moved. Now, we trust each other, and actually have deep, meaningful conversations, which I thought might never be possible. God, I thank you for being faithful in every relationship and circumstance of my life. Thank you for choosing Jonathan and Jonah to be my brothers. Grow my grace, teach me to love, and may I be determined to build up, rather than tear down.
Application: When I have wifi, I will talk to both of my brothers, and tell them how much I love them, and apologize for the years of bitterness that I created.