I was eating lunch with a colleague yesterday when she said something to me that would stick with me for the rest of the day.
I was telling her about my apprehension about going to Paris since they have a reputation as a being an Anti-American city. She stated that in all her travels throughout the world she has generally found that most people were incredibly friendly, even in Paris.
She said she liked to view the world with the idea that everyone is a good person.
Such a simple concept but it really made me stop and think.
If I went through my whole day thinking that everyone I interacted with was generally a good person, would it make me a happier person?
Well, certainly. Suddenly, I would be less annoyed with that colleague who always turned assignments in late. And that stranger who bumped me on the street? No, worries. He probably wasn’t worrying about a sick kid at home.
Placing judgment on other people for their negative or hurtful actions towards me makes me no better than them. In fact, I could probably argue that it makes me a worse person.
When you go back and look through the Bible about the inherent nature of man, you see several verses explaining that men are born with sin in their hearts (see Genesis 6:5, Romans 3, Matthew 7:11). The only way that we can become good again is to except Christ into our heart and allow the Holy Spirit to work through us.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient…For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 1:1-10
We see through this passage in Ephesians that it is only through grace of God that we as humans can truly become good natured. So in honor of that, I would like to pay grace forward to the people I encounter every day. For they deserve grace just as much as I do.
So next time, you come across someone treating you in a disrespectful manner, silently think to yourself, “They deserve the grace that God has freely granted me.”