1 Peter 3:8-12

Parents wish we could go back and do a few things differently. Most
of my regrets involve being quick to anger. So often, my reaction to
a child’s bad decision is a harsh word. My response to their anger is
anger of my own. We often speak emotionally charged words before
we have time to think about their weight and power. As time passes,
I wish that I had responded to failure with grace more often.

I recently learned a lesson in grace from my child’s teacher. One of my children had made a bad decision in a classroom, and I received the dreaded phone call from the school. As my mind started moving toward the words I would deliver and the punishment I would hand down when our child arrived home, the teacher offered me another word. She reminded me that my child is a really good kid who just made a mistake. In so doing, she inspired me to handle the situation with more grace. When my child returned home from school that day, there were certainly restrictions and consequences given. But there was also a chance to explain how I once made a similar bad decision at school and how we all make decisions we regret. We had an honest conversation. And I am struck even now by the difference that a blessing versus a harsh word made in that circumstance. My child had enough guilt to deal with without my adding on; the assurance of my love was what needed to be added to that moment.

Christ models for us what it means to respond to anger with love, and to failure with grace. May we each find our own ways to do the same as we seek peace and pursue it (v. 11).


Is there someone in our lives to whom we can offer a word of grace today?


Gracious God, thank you for the ways that you love us when we are unlovable. Thank you for forgiveness that we do not deserve. Teach us how to offer these same gifts to others. Amen.

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