The Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football last week. Well…I need to be clear. The Seahawks kind of beat the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football last week.
In front of a national audience, on the last play of the game, the referees made an incorrect call. That incorrect call awarded the Seahawks six points they didn’t deserve. As a result, the Seahawks won.
The following morning, news outlets of all shapes and sizes reported the blown call. They replayed footage of the play over and over and over again, underscored by negative commentary. News anchors, analysts, talk show hosts, and their long lost relatives complained, criticized, and bemoaned the officiating. The American media was on the attack.
I am glad that the American media isn’t interested in my mistakes. I would hate it if they broadcast the replay of my worst moments over and over again. Analysts would find a lot to complain about, criticize, and bemoan. It would be embarrassing and heartbreaking to listen to.
The Apostle Paul encouraged early Christians to avoid such commentary with other Christians. He says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Paul encourages early Christians to use the grace God extends to us in Jesus as an example of how to extend grace to others. Because we have been forgiven much, we forgive much.
As you go through the coming week, look for simple ways to extend grace when people make mistakes. If a waiter messes up your order, be kind and tip anyway. Tell them Jesus loves them. If a co-worker is late filing an important report, point out an area of their work that has benefited you in the past. Thank them for it. In a world that loves to complain and criticize and bemoan mistakes, forgive and move on. If you do, you’ll look back at the replay and find that you made the right call.