Choosing Grace Over Grumpy

July 21, 2020 | Jessica Benko

Think back about your day. Did it go as planned? Perhaps it exceeded expectations? Or maybe it was pretty much the worst day ever.

How did you [re]act and feel?

What “makes” or “breaks” our days can be vastly different. Whether we’re navigating relationships, jobs, faith, mental and physical well-being, and/or other important life “things,” our world is ever-changing, challenging and rewarding. 

And it’s exhausting! 

Maybe you’re a wife, father, daughter, grandson, sister, uncle, friend, employee and/or colleague. Each “role” is incredibly important, and comes with its own set of responsibilities, expectations, celebrations, opportunities and disappointments. 

[cue smiles/yawns/happy tears/grumpiness/frustrated tears]

In thinking about this week, I’m grateful to say there were a number of wins. But there’s also room for improvement: a grumpy attitude, not-nice comments, impatience and selfish choices. Which is why I’m so thankful for God’s continued grace.

I recently completed a Bible study from Craig and Amy Groeschel on the Holy Bible app. It got me thinking about the idea of grace — not just about the grace God gives so freely and willingly to each of us. But also about how I offer grace to those around me. 

Grace is the unearned love of God at Jesus’ expense.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22)

He’s promised us everything, though we’ve done nothing to deserve it. And still He shows us grace. All. The. Time. The Lord isn’t consumed or overwhelmed by any circumstance, and despite our shortcomings, His compassion for us remains steadfast. 

For me, this is pretty exciting! Why? Because I know I can draw strength from the Lord while actively working to improve my grace and compassion for others — on both good and bad days. And because tomorrow will always be a new day and fresh start. 

Whew, who knew giving God-like grace to others could be so easy! Right?

How can we offer more grace?

How can we be less grumpy to the people we love and care about, knowing that some days are exhausting?

Choosing grace over a grumpy attitude can be difficult, especially when it’s not been a good day — but we can rely on Christ’s strength to fight for more of those graceful moments. 

Instead of being grumpy and glaring when your spouse returns home late after an unavoidable work meeting. Consider the idea that they probably wanted to be home instead. And that maybe, a hug or cold beverage or quiet time while watching a movie would be a better “welcome” home. 

Instead of losing your patience and yelling at your two-year-old when he says he has to go potty just before walking out the door — even though you’ve asked him 17 times to try… Consider taking a deep breath, smiling and turning it into a game — if The Flash can move as super fast speeds, so can he!

Truthfully, working to improve your “Grace Game” may take a long time. With Christ’s strength and daily reminders of how freely God gives us grace, though, I know we can continue making a conscious effort to choose grace over grumpiness. And at the very least, I know I’ll have plenty of opportunities to try!