Hello friend! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by! This post is part of a 31-Day writing adventure, of which I only have a few days left! I’d love for you to meet up ’round here and read along for the rest of the series (and beyond…). You can find the introduction to the series, and a “Table of Contents” as each day goes live, right here. Thanks so much for dropping in!

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We were in the foothills of the NC mountains a few weekends ago, as the Hubs was second shooting at a wedding and the small people and I had tagged along for the adventure. While HH was working, we’d been on an adventure to see a friend of mine during the day, and after eating an early dinner, we were back at the hotel with some time to pass before bedtime. I gathered everyone up for a little walk, and off we set to get moving.

Before you can say Hampton Inn, we almost had an explosive moment of disappointment that forced me to throw in the parenting towel.

The Bear really wanted to ride the elevator (we were on the ground floor and hadn’t needed to use it) and thinking, Heck, it’ll at least take care of five or ten minutes, I said we could, quietly, nicely ride the elevator up to the top floor and back down again. When we arrived at the elevator, our little TigerTank wasn’t feeling very tigerish. He stared at those doors, whimpered, and started to cry:

“I don’t want to ride the Alligator!!!!!! I don’t want to ride the Alligator!!!!”

For all my explaining, the elevator was not an alligator, and the elevator would be fun and safe, he still saw two metal jaws opening wide to capture people. The doors closed, and when they opened again, the people were gone.

Scary stuff for a two year old, if you think about it.

I had to quickly scoot all the kids out the back door because the Tank’s upsettedness and the Bear’s disappointedness were about to collide in a cacophony of noisiness.

The Bear experienced significant disappoint in not getting to ride the elevator and was temporarily inconsolable. Once we were outside, he plopped down on the ground, arms crossed in front of his chest, bottom lip out far enough for me to walk on it, occasional sighs of frustration escaping from his lips. Oh, the honest emotions of a five-year-old.


It took no small feat of coaxing, and some serious attempts at explaining why the Tank was afraid, to convince him to let this thing go. As far as he could see, the Tank just ruined a moment of fun for him and he was none too pleased. I promised him a ride the next morning (when the Hubs would also be present to handle non-alligator-riders) and he eventually, after some time, recovered. But forgiveness was another matter altogether, and on this occasion, I’d guess forgiveness only happened in the sense that the situation has completely been forgotten by now.

When I think about my own life, I realize there are times when I’m the disappointed one with the bottom lip poking out and the arms crossed. (On the inside, of course.) I get hurt by a harsh word from a guy at the bank, or disappointed when I’ve shared something important to me with someone important to me, hoping for them to take it seriously, and they don’t.

Hurt comes in a lot of different ways, but you can be sure of one thing: it comes, and it’s pretty easy to come by.

Forgiveness, though, is not so easy to come by.

Writing to the church in Colossae, Paul issued a challenge to the believers there to live with certain qualities, in consideration of the fact that God had chosen them. He said:

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must also forgive others. {Col. 3: 12-13}

Proverbs gives a similar encouragement:

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. {Proverbs 19:11}

How quick to be offended are most of us? Do we generally tend to assume the worst in a situation where we think someone said something they should not have said, or didn’t do something they should have done? Do we quickly take an offense to heart, and allow it to ruin an hour or a day of our time? Do we pour a mental bath of self-pity, and jump in the tub to soak in it?

{Pass me a towel to dry off. I’m guilty.}

What if we were, instead, quick to overlook an offense? Quick to come up with potential reasons why the other person has been offensive toward us:

She has really been hurt by something that happened recently — she is speaking out of a place of hurt. He has such a large amount of work to manage right now, he didn’t mean to overlook this thing that was important to me — he just has a lot going on.

And then quick to simply forgive, let go, overlook, bypass the offense, to continue in healthy relationship, to move forward in peace.

Yes, there are times when confrontation is a necessity. But many times, it’s just our pride that makes us think it’s necessary. Often, it is actually to our glory to choose not to be offended, to be patient and live consistently focused on the other qualities we were instructed to clothe ourselves in instead.

In God’s glorious goodness, He first forgave us — and forgave us so much — so set an example, and give us the perspective that when we forgive, we are often forgiving very little in comparison. He doesn’t ask us to do something He wasn’t willing to do first!

Try extending extra measures of grace to the people around you today. I think you’ll enjoy the peace that follows.