Recently, I went to a shindig where I ran into someone I knew. She seemed to have time to talk with other people, but didn’t seem to have time to talk to me. In years past, that would have been deeply hurtful and most likely would have ruined my evening. Instead, I took it as a learning lesson. I realized in that moment that we were good acquaintances instead of friends. And that’s okay.
Maturity is not necessarily a byproduct of age. The Bible calls it by a different word — wisdom. Wisdom is seeing life not in terms of days lived but in lessons learned. It’s not so much acquired knowledge that never leaves your head, but transformational learning that leaves you better than you were before.
Wisdom in this case is forgiving the person for not meeting my unspoken expectations. It’s forgiving myself for maybe having unrealistic expectations in the first place. It’s taking what could easily be a negative experience and viewing it as a teaching moment for myself.
In some cases, you learn to give grace. In other cases, you learn to walk away, not out of anger or bitterness but as a way of preserving your own peace. You can always pray for the other to know blessing and joy.
I’ve learned that the right people will always find a way to be in your life and they will always find a way to stay in your life. Some will be there for a season. Some will be there to teach you valuable lessons. But you always have the choice to leave a lasting impression on them in the form of showing grace and kindness, loving them the way Jesus has loved you.
“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it” (Colossians 3:12-14, The Message).