“If you meet a person who cannot get over your past, you meet a person that doesn’t understand the love of Jesus Christ.”

That’s a powerful statement.

Over the past few years, I’ve been in situations that, if I were honest, have in some ways skewed my view of God. It wasn’t intentional — the people involved didn’t mean for it to happen the way it did and I didn’t look at the situations as being something that would shape my view of Him. It just happened. Lots of things can cause this in life: things don’t turn out the way we think they should, people say things that are incorrect but we take them to heart, the list could go on and on. The quote I lead this post with is from a teaching series I’ve recently listened to on dating (side note: I was actually opposed to listening to it but glad I listened, as I discovered a lot of truth outside of dating) but it’s completely valid outside the dating scope. None are perfect, all have fallen short of the glory of God. I think that quote can be read quickly, liked my many, and never taken to heart.

I’ve heard it said that we always want to receive grace (from God, friends, family, etc) but we’re pretty reluctant to give grace. I’m noticing that a lot of the times my lack of certain gifts of the Spirit (like love, joy, peace, and patience) really has a lot to do with grace. I’m not going to really develop that further other than to say that we’re called to be examples of Christ (Christ-like), showing his heart for people. When we’re not walking in the Spirit, it shapes other’s view of who God is. Even those who have a strong walk, and especially if they aren’t plugged into life-giving people can be affected.

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