I’m not sure if it is just a symptom of modern society, but these days I feel like everyone just seems so stressed out all of the time.
In the age of microwaves, and instant Google searches and constant connectivity, there is this expectation that you have to be on form all of the time.
Always be available.
Always be ready with an answer.
Whether it is at work (my job is in the service industry so… allow me to say story.
Whether it is in your personal life (having to be at, do everything incase you’re stuck down by FOMO – fear of missing out, for all you less hip people out there)
Or even when it comes to yourself (It is super easy to be really strict on yourself, especially when you compare yourself to these pretend versions of everyone else around you that you’ve constructed from what they post on Facebook or Instagram)
It is super easy to get into this place where you don’t give yourself – or anyone else for that matter – grace.
I think the major problem that we struggle to give others or ourselves grace and vice versa is because grace doesn’t fit with today’s instant society.
Grace is slow, it requires time.
It means slowing down to think through your answers and come up with the best possible solution.
It means often giving people space and not having your needs met right that very second.
It means understanding that sometimes people make mistakes, or things can’t be solved by a quick fix.
So we struggle to give grace, to be gracious people, to give ourselves grace because we have this really stupid idea that things should be able to be dealt with at once on our terms completely.
Because the opposite of grace, is judgement.
We judge people because they can’t fix our problems at once.
We judge people because they don’t seem to have the capacity that we expect they should to do the thing that we want them to.
We judge ourselves because we haven’t done whatever it is that we thought we needed to do properly/fast enough/to the best possible standard.
And honestly? It is super unhealthy.
The reason why is because life isn’t perfect.
Grace understands that life – and us, and everyone around us – isn’t perfect, and doesn’t judge others for it.
So I think the best thing to do sometimes, in our instant society is understand two things.
The first, that we don’t see the full inside of people from start to beginning and everything that has happened to them in the last twenty four hours. And we don’t need to. We see only little windows into their lives, and rather than making swift and stressful stomping requests, we need to give grace, step back and be measured people.
Gracious people, who slow down.
The second thing that we need to understand is that we need to give ourselves a break.
These days it is super easy to fall into a trap of comparison. We have all these measures that we use to compare our lives to other peoples… how many friends they have, if we are in a relationship, if we have a house, if we have a full time job, if we are ticking all the boxes… and things like social media are helpful little tools to compare those measures.
So give yourself a break. Stop looking at everyone else’s lives – because you’re only seeing through their windows – and give yourself a break.
Be gracious, it will actually make the world of difference.
The other day I was at work, it was stiflingly hot, I was taking phone calls right left and centre, and people wanting stuff done right that very second, and wanting ETA’s and people sending tetchy emails, and I was beyond stressed.
Then I took another call and the woman – while having a problem exactly like these other people who were emailing and calling – was cool, and calm and most importantly, gracious, and it make my whole morning so much better.
We can be that for people, and for ourselves, if we’d just slow down, and give people some grace.