What pushes your buttons in your relationships the most?
You may loathe ghosting when you text a person with no response. You might get annoyed with the nitpicking feedback from a coworker. You cringe at the lack of self-awareness of a friend’s words in conversation. We could probably add thousands of quirks to this list.
The most significant relationships in our lives — spouses, kids, parents, friends, coworkers, small group members, neighbors — require an extra measure of grace in the areas that push our buttons.
Psalm 86 expresses a prayer of humility from David to God. Three times David asks God for mercy (Psalm 86:2,6,16). David lives with the consciousness of his own need for God’s compassion while also acknowledging the distress, especially from his foes and enemies.
Psalm 86:15 pauses us in our tracks:
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
When you realize the grace you receive from Jesus, it humbles you and centers you. Though David vents his frustrations and asks for help, he writes Psalm 86 out of the realization of his need for mercy. Prayer illuminates the character of Jesus in our lives to help us see our relationships clearer.
G.K. Chesterton says, “The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally, they are the same people.”
When you read and pray Psalm 86 for yourself, you become more aware of your need for mercy. You begin to see that Jesus, in His goodness, can right the wrongs in your relationships. It gives you the awareness to notice what you have received from God is what He calls you to give to others.
Keeping short accounts in our relationships operates out of the mercy Jesus has given us. We can pit grace and truth against each creating a false choice of passive-aggressively not dealing with an issue or become a bull in a china shop. Jesus hears our prayers and responds in pursuing reconciliation.
Keeping short accounts means not giving room for further relation discord.
Praying Psalms 86 reminds us of how Jesus keeps short accounts with us so we can do so with others. Sometimes that requires speaking the truth in love, so a problem does not persist.
Sometimes that means getting over our quibbles of others and keeping silent. Sometimes it means becoming more curious in asking questions because, in our anger, our assumptions are not as accurate as we think.
Today, your buttons may get pushed. Remind yourself of Psalm 86. The good news of the gospel keeps us humble for our need for grace from Jesus.
Instead of responding in frustration or passive-aggressiveness, prayer brings us back to seeing the character of Jesus and seeing others the way He sees them.
Originally published at https://peterenglert.com on May 30, 2020.