Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
The way we treat people says a lot about who we are, what we believe and the character of our lives. Think about the last argument or disagreement you were part of. Did the other person leave thinking about how mean you are, how fair you are or even that you truly care for them?
Some people say "just walk away". There are times that might be the best thing to do. In fact, I hate confrontation, and I confess that too often I have walked away from situations where I should have stayed, talked, shared and sought forgiveness. But that is not always easy.
Lets talk about it. When is it best just to walk away? There are situations where you can't win. You have loved and cared and gone the extra mile. You've been slapped and kicked and maybe even robbed or used. Maybe you ought to just walk away.
But take it a step further. Aren't you glad Jesus didn't just walk away from the cross? Instead He was nailed to the cross and endured horrible and painful treatment for our good. Do you think the lady caught in adultery was glad that Jesus didn't just walk away from her? Do you think that Zacheus was glad that Jesus didn't just walk away from him? There are lots of stories.
Maybe we ought to rethink our "just walk away" policy and ask God to use us to give grace to people around us. It could be the way we treat someone will be the very thing that leads them back to God or to Him for the very first time. Honestly, until someone sees and knows true forgiveness given to them, they can't give that forgiveness to someone else.
This is for me. This is for lots of people I am praying for. It is time to go the preverbal 2nd mile. It is time to offer a hand shack or even to say I am sorry or I forgive you. That is what Jesus did for us.
Being kind is something that I want to be known for. Offering 2nd chances is something I believe God called me and our church to offer and offer often. When we "just walk away", we might be closing a person's ability to meet God.
Turn the other check. Step back into the situation. Pray once again. Cook them another meal. Ask for some help and make a difference. Before you just walk away see what God might do if you share a little bit of His kindness.
I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also.
PLEASE PRAY FOR …
Jennifer Terry has seen 2 more DR's this week, and they have started talking about treatment that will start soon. Pray for Jennifer, David and their children as they walk through the process of dealing with breast cancer (write them at 432 Hidden Valley Dr., Martinsville, VA 24112). John DeOms is home and recovering from neck surgery. Pray for my assistant Donna Pratt who has not been feeling well this week. Pray for Karen Palmer, David Gray's mom, as she continues to struggle after her husband's death and with life issues. Pray for Forrest Dorsey, a new homeless friend, who is on his way back to Colorado at this time to be with his family. Aynn Handy asks us to pray for her mom who is in a Roanoke Hospital and having major trouble. Trish West asks us to prayer for their daughter Gracie who has strep, tonsillitis and pneumonia as this time.