Hamlet. Anakin Skywalker. Flynn Rider. They’re round characters. Round characters in literature and movies are people presented to us in a believable way. They aren’t two-dimensional. They might have good qualities as well as bad qualities they need to work through as they develop. People enjoy round characters in literature because they’re more real.

Do you appreciate round characters in real life? You know, believable people who aren’t two-dimensional? People who have good qualities as well as bad qualities they still need to work through? We usually expect people to understand when we struggle or when they see us as less-than-perfect. We ought to give the same grace and understanding when we see them struggle.

Jesus’ work of taking away the sin of the world makes everyone not guilty before God. Yet, while that status is ours, we will still struggle with sin as God helps us develop and grow into the people he made us to be.

That means we’ll have to be patient with each other. We might clash or think differently. We might hurt each other or do things we later regret. We may need to go back and apologize for the things we’ve said.

It’s an increasingly polarized world where people are treated in very black and white terms. But people are round characters. We’re works in progress. We ask others to be patient with us; let’s be patient with others, too.

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. . . . What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:15,24-25).