Is this how you would respond?

Jul 07, 2022

Look at the words Paul uses to describe how we are to interact: compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, bearing, forgiving, loving, unity. These adjectives don’t describe many of the interactions I see around me today.

And we might be tempted to say, “Well, that’s all well and good in an ideal world, but we are in times of tension and war!” I would counter, though, that most of the qualities Paul mentions don’t need to be called upon when times are good. We don’t need to bear with one another when we’re all in agreement. We don’t need to have compassion if everything is going well. We typically need humility when there’s tension. And forgiveness, well, that clearly implies a wrong has been done. These aren’t commands for a people already living in paradise. The characteristics we are exhorted to display are a call to rise above the fray and be Christ-like in the midst of tension.

This is not easy, and it doesn’t come naturally. Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on our own strength to do it. God is good and faithful, and as we draw near to Him, He generously gives us His power to do what He has called us to do.

So let’s take God’s Word to heart today. Where can we respond with compassion instead of condemnation? How can patience and kindness help a hurting relationship? Where does forgiveness need to take place?

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