I grew up in the 1970’s before internet and X-boxes. The tiny square television in our living room was the primary form of family entertainment. We had no remote control. My dad sat in his leather recliner, and I walked to the front of the room and changed the channels to his favorite shows. Most nights, I laughed along with Mary Tyler Moore, Hawkeye Pierce, and George Jefferson, but on Tuesday nights my temper flared as I endured thirty minutes of Archie Bunker bulldozing over his mousy wife.
I know Edith Bunker is not a real person, but my eight-year-old self wanted to jump through the television screen and rise up to her defense. Why didn’t she fight back? How could she respond with grace to such a grump? I viewed her meekness as a weakness. Now that I am older and wiser, I know better. Edith Bunker was actually a very wise woman who loved well and suffered long. Her kind, gentle spirit created stability in a very difficult setting.
In Ephesians 4, Paul addresses believers and encourages them to promote unity in the church. He admonishes them to lay aside pride, pushy demands, and impatience. The church is a family, and we must decide to fight for each other, rather than demand our own way. We should show forbearance instead of fixating on the faults of our brother. We can set aside our resentment and righteous indignation to serve one another in love.
Perhaps you’ve logged on to Facebook or Twitter and lamented how grumpy people misuse words to bulldoze their opinions forward, and you’ve considered firing away a well-crafted retaliation. Instead of shouting louder, let’s purpose to speak kindness and extend grace.
Long-suffering love perseveres through pain and provocation. Rather than strong-arm our way forward, we are called to stand strong and steadfast in the Spirit with submissive hearts fully surrendered to God’s sovereignty. God will grant us the grit and grace we require to continue loving one another.
Let’s fight for one another with grit and grace, rather than gripe and demand our own way.
Let’s Talk: How have you learned to fight for pesky people by exercising God’s grace? I’d love to hear any tips you have to offer on this subject — especially as we head into the holidays.
You can read more about this topic here: 4 Ways to Love Pesky People
“Grit and Grace” was originally published at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale’s Daily Devo.
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