“But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger…” (NIV)
One of the inevitabilities of this time of year is get-togethers.
It happens in families, with friends, at work parties, semi-formals, church and volunteering events.
For some people, it’s something to look forward to. But for others, it’s something to dread!
Because certain people are, shall we say, “challenging,” our get-togethers can sometimes be tainted with not-so-noble thoughts. We can easily resurface a hurt from 6 years ago or mentally prepare for a debate with so-and-so when they jump on a hobby horse they love to ride.
In fact, when we see certain people walk into the room, it can be easy to attach words to their very presence. Words like ‘annoying’ or ‘needy’ or ‘argumentative’ or ‘selfish.’
But guess what?
When you walk into the room, people attach words to you too!
It’s a subconscious thing. People aren’t actually making a list and checking it twice. But they conjure a series of automatic thoughts that they’ve connected with you.
So over the next few weeks, as you get together with people, be proactive about the you you are when you walk into the room.
Be incredibly gracious.
Here’s a way to understand what I mean by that: When you walk into the room, be someone who radiates unexpected generosity.
- Be unexpectedly generous with your willingness to help.
- Be unexpectedly generous with your words of encouragement.
- Be unexpectedly generous in your ability to see the good and not just the bad.
Like it or not, get-togethers are inevitable. But for your part, cynicism, stinginess and selfishness don’t have to be.
When you walk in the room, compel others to think, ‘Wow, here comes Mr or Miss Unexpectedly Generous.’
Your job isn’t to impress or please people. That’s not what this is about. It’s about re-framing your thinking.
Because when you think about your interactions as an opportunity for grace, you’re honouring the God who is eternally gracious…
By Matthew Ruttan