Well all have them in our lives.
You know them well.
In fact, all of us probably ARE these kinds of people from time to time.
That’s right. Those folks in your life who try your patience. That require prayer to deal with. Sometimes the mere sight of them makes your heart race.
They are EGR’s: Extra Grace Required.
Now, I don’t say this to be mean or judgey. Heck, I KNOW for a fact that I personally am an EGR from time to time. (Just ask my husband.) I get snarky. I become hard to manage. Some switch gets flipped and I go from low-key minister to high-maintence heifer. True story.
Been there. Done that. Deal with it daily.
This challenge of EGR’s in my life has really been on my heart (and in my face) lately. It has challenged my patience. Been a constant reminder that we must deal with all people with GRACE. And not just, some grace- lots of it. Often, EXTRA grace is required.
You know the kinds of people that I am talking about. (In addition to our occasional selves.) Those folks who can’t seem to find the good in anything. The ones who repeatedly flake on commitments with no advance warning. Or people who struggle with drawing the line between wanting to talk-talk-talk in circles when the other party perhaps has a meeting to get to. Like, now.
When we are faced with EGRs, our flesh naturally wants to word vomit something blunt or brash. (Or just physically push them out the way. Admit it– we’ve all felt it.) But the moment that thought flashes across our mind, we feel a surge of conviction from the Holy Spirit. “Um, Sharita, that behavior is not nice. Even more so, it’s not Christ-like.”
Sigh. Stupid flesh.
Don’t get me wrong– as Christians, we sure aren’t expected to be pushovers and let folks walk all over us. However, we are to deal with people with GRACE. Just as Christ did.
He was firm with people, especially when they were getting Him off track or inadvertently distracting Him from doing the Father’s Will. However, He was never mean. Never rude. Never sarcastic.
He always spoke the truth– IN LOVE. He kept on track with God-Focus. And He dealt with those EGR’s with GRACE. Lots and lots of grace.
When it comes to dealing with EGRs in real life (ministry or otherwise) I have come up with another acronym to keep us focused on the matter at hand.
Instead of snapping or pretending to be uninterested, apply your own method of EGR in these Extra Grace Required situations.
E~ Explore the opportunity. Specifically for ministry opportunities in the moment. Sometimes those EGR’s could be ministry experiences brought to us by God in disguise. Or simply approach the opportunity with a heart for personal growth, knowing that challenges are what ultimately refine us to become more like Christ.
G~Get moving. (I don’t mean run away. That’s not nice.) But get your heart moving closer to the Holy Spirit with a silent prayer, asking for wisdom and discernment (and grace!) for the moment.
R~ Remember the abundant grace that God gives us every time we try His patience (which, if we are perfectly honest with ourselves, is probably once every 14 seconds.) Then, take the Father’s grace and extend it to the person/situation you are dealing with… THEN react.
What kind of EGR’s challenge you the most? How do you deal in the moment? Gimme a shout out by leaving a comment below!
God is always patient with us– He is firm and just but eternally loving. He has given us abundant grace to love those around us… So no matter how challenging the person or situation, remember that we already have all the extra grace that is required for the moment… We just have to apply it!
Thankful for His Grace,
“As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.” ~2 Corinthians 6:1 (NIV)