Since I wrote the post about “Sacrificing my Life away for a Bowl of Soup” I have really been contemplating life, love, my relationships and what I have been spending my time and energy on. There have been many incidents just in the past few days that have given me a lot of perspective. I wanted to share one thought with you today about humble pie and hard-hearted people.
There are times in life when things are just rolling along and seem to be going pretty good in our lives. We may be totally wrapped up in all our daily routines, enjoying the scenery and dancing to the music of life and then “BAM”, we find ourselves flat on our faces. Maybe we tripped and fell because of something we did that was wrong or a mistake that we made, be it intentional or not. Perhaps we are eating dirt because we got too big for our britches and needed to be reminded where we came from. It could be that we were trying to rely on ourselves too much instead of relying on God. Or maybe we were starting to take the important people and things in our lives for granted. It could also be because we need to learn a lesson to be prepared for future trials. There are many reasons why we might end being put in our place and end up flat on the ground, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Here in South we refer to it as having a serving of “humble pie”. I have eaten more “humble pies” in my thirty short years than seems possible. Every time I think I’m on a roll uphill, I end up going back down the hill. It can be frustrating but I realize it’s God’s way of molding me and making me remember that I have to rely on Him for, well, everything.
Constantly being humbled also keeps my heart tender towards others. When someone is angry, mean or rude to me I try to remind myself that there is more to their story than the part that they are showing me. They could have just received some really bad news, be having a terrible day or perhaps they are just plain mean and hard-hearted. We just have no idea what is going on behind the scenes with people.
I often see people who are angry, short-tempered and appear to have very hard hearts and wonder how they can be that way? What is the point of being so angry and mean all the time? Why do people have to be such bullies? Why is it so difficult to just be nice to others. Why is your first thought about someone else a negative thought?
It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice. ~Author Unknown
As difficult as it is, I try to pray for these hard-hearted people and extend grace to them. It is not always easy though. I am tender-hearted and get my feelings hurt a bit too easily and want to just run from and avoid bullies.
Last night as I was praying, I realized that many of these people are probably hard-hearted because they don’t have the love of God in their own hearts. They don’t know what it is like to have a Savior who constantly melts and warms your hard, frozen heart. They are not capable of extending that same grace that I extend because they haven’t experienced it themselves.
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. – 1 Peter 3: 8-9
It suddenly changed my way of thinking towards people like that. Instead of seeing them as mean, angry, bullies that I just try to avoid, I realize how much more important it is for me to continue to extend grace to them. Yes, even when it is hard, even when it hurts, even when I feel like it will do no good. Because if it weren’t for God’s grace and feeding me daily servings of humble pie, I could end up being one of those angry, hard-hearted bullies too…