Do people ever make you MAD? Irritate you? Rub you the wrong way? Hurt your feelings? Betray you?
I recently listened to a mother and her grown daughter arguediscuss something that had happened twenty plus years ago. The daughter, harboring unforgiveness and bitterness, was still visibly angry at her mom for a past offense.
Talking to a close friend, she shared with me how irritated she was with her husband. Even though she confessed it was so silly, she still couldn’t get over her negative attitude and felt he was just being stubborn.
People, because they are HUMAN, will always disappoint us. We will be irritated. We will get angry. Our feelings will get hurt. So….what should we do?
As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14
Just like we physically PUT ON our pants, we must IN FAITH, put on these virtues. We purpose in our hearts to PUT ON Jesus Christ. When someone is hurting, we need to be compassionate, NOT judgemental. We need to be kind to others (not just smiling at the clerk at Target, but being sweet to our family members even when we don’t feel like it!). We need to wait patiently for others, even when our schedules are busy and our frustration levels are high.
We need to “bear” with one another….overlooking personalities quirks and giving people the grace to be themselves. And, we need to forgive as Jesus forgives. Thankfully, Christ doesn’t make me suffer a little more, making sure I am truly sorry. Jesus went to the cross before I was ever born, covering all my sins with His blood. He said, “Father forgive them for they KNOW NOT what they do.” Do I extend this grace and mercy to others, or do I blame, saying, “She should have known better!”
Then, over all of this, we are to put on LOVE.
Am I forgiving to those who don’t “deserve it”? Am I patient with the “sandpaper” people in my life? Am I loving to the “unlovely”?
We sometimes don’t FEEL like loving others. But, the Bible tells us that LOVE is more than a “feeling”….it’s a BEHAVIOR.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy, does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude.
It is not self-seeking.
It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (1Corinthians 13:4-5)
Father God, thank You for Your example of unconditional love. Thank You for Your forgiveness. God, help me to put on Jesus, clothing myself in these virtues. Lord, I know I can’t live this way in MY strength, so I ask You Lord to help me live this out. I ask that the Holy Spirit would lead me and guide me, whispering to my heart when I need to be loving. Father, I ask that You pour out Your comfort and heal my wounds. Thank You, Lord! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
- A Story In the Making