‘Be kind to one another, tenderhearted.’ Ephesians 4:32 ESV
Some of us excel in our careers, but act carelessly, casually and sometimes even caustically when it comes to our relationships. Then we rationalise it by saying, ‘I didn’t mean any harm,’ or ‘That’s just my way.’ Sorry, God doesn’t let us off the hook that easily. When someone irritates you, God requires you to do two things:
(1) Be the first to reach out. You may be right, but if you’re resentful, what good is it? Instead of nursing a grudge or waiting for the other person to apologise, be first to reach out. Someone else’s response neither validates nor invalidates your decision to forgive. Think about it: if you had only a year to live, would you give such things another second of your time? No! The Bible says, ‘Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.’ (Ephesians 4:32 NLT) God made the first move in forgiving us so we’d know how to do it for others.
(2) Be understanding. When some of us argue our point, we bulldoze everybody and everything in our way. Purpose-driven, time-conscious, goal-oriented people can be guilty of this. Chances are the people who get under your skin aren’t trying to complicate your life; they’re struggling to cope with their own. Once you understand there’s no ill-will intended, you begin to feel compassion for them. That’s how it is with God. ‘He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle.’ (Isaiah 42:3 NLT) Today, ask Him to help you show His love towards those who irritate you.
SoulFood: Isa 49–52, Luke 3:11–20, Ps 81, Pro 2:11–15
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023