Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Be kind to one another and tenderhearted, well…… let’s start there. Don’t you wish God would just once in a while throw in; when you feel like it? Or maybe He could say, well, I will give you a pass on that person because they aren’t very nice either! Well, stink! I don’t know about you, but He has never given me a pass or permission to do that; it always seems to be the same answer ~ “Janet, I said to be kind!”
Now, I don’t usually have difficulty being kind. I am a people person and I love people! I am very outgoing, don’t hold grudges, usually quick to forgive and I love to serve so kindness isn’t usually a problem. I like the kindness thing because it seems to come pretty easy to me. Then there are those moments that Satan likes to throw in my face like the other day: I was on a field trip with the kids and we were running right on the edge of being on time. Danielle and I had with us a 9 year old, 2 five year olds and a four year old, no problem….. we had it under control. I couldn’t seem to get my asthma under control though that morning and we were headed to a farm, hayride and all! When we got there we were trying to hurry because the first thing was a hayride and they were about ready to go so we were rushing down this somewhat, dirt road from where we parked. The next thing you know, a big SUV came flying down the road kicking up dust and driving like he was in route for a medical emergency (he wasn’t though, he was part of the field trip). All I could do was cover my face so I didn’t choke on the dust and yell ahead for Danielle to make sure the kids weren’t in the road, she barely got them out of the way when he went flying past her. My irritation was beginning to boil. When we finally got to the wagon the grandmother shoved my precious little ones out of the way so she could get on the wagon and was pulling her adult daughter on behind her when it happened…… (I am still so embarrassed!) I looked at Danielle and said, “well, now we know where their daughter gets her meanness!” Eeeeegggghhhh, did I really say that OUT LOUD? Oh my word, yes I did! Looking back I cringe and wish I would have just dug a hole right there! You have to be kidding me! I was wrong!
Now, here’s the tough part: Have you ever found yourself there? You know you weren’t kind and you were far from tenderhearted and God kept bringing it to your attention. I told Abby that night as we read her Bible story and we were praying before bed that we needed to pray for this girl in her class and her family because there must be a reason they are so unhappy and angry. I have to admit, I was hoping God would let it go if we started praying for them every night, but nope! He didn’t! Remember how I said, I forgive very easily, well, I have a more difficult time asking for forgiveness when I don’t know someone. I need to find that lady and apologize for my unkind behavior that day! I need to tell her I was wrong, God already knows I was wrong and I have asked Him to forgive me, but I know I have to ask her. Ugh! Let’s face it ladies, it isn’t easy to humble ourselves if we feel somewhat justified in our behavior to ask someone to forgive us or admit that we were wrong, but it is still necessary and if we do that a few times we are probably less likely to behave like that again! We will want to avoid the pain of having to go through all of that again! As difficult as it can be to forgive others when they have done you wrong, it is also difficult and as important to admit when you were wrong and ask for the forgiveness yourself! We must always make a habit of doing the right thing and doing it in love. Apparently I needed to be quicker on the forgiveness that day and more patient and kind and it would have saved me embarrassment later! Some of the toughest lessons in life are those we bring on ourselves!
“A sense of humor snuffs out our sparks of friction before they get to our fuel tank.” Fred Smith