This world is a mess. No matter where we look, there is some report of killing, war or other injustice. As people, we’re not very nice to one another. Certainly within our social collection, we may treat one another favorably, but even within those boundaries, there can be difficulties. Feelings get hurt and people disappoint us and before you know it, there can be a rift separating individuals. That’s why it’s so important we learn to respond in Christ’s love, and obey His command to love as He taught us.
It’s not something we can do in our own strength. It’s only possible when we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us.
Years ago, I was an assistant manager for a small shop. Even though I couldn’t take the job as manager when it was offered to me, I had the uncomfortable task of training someone who resented me for the position. She was quite a bit older than I, and not happy to continually ask for my help in areas of managing the shop. After many frustrating days of failed attempts to befriend and help her, I called my mom for solace and a bit of advice. She wisely told me to do something kind for the person I was training.
In truth, it wasn’t my first thought of how to handle the situation. I will always remember the struggle I had following the advice she gave, but then the pure joy of watching it work wonders. The act of kindness was a small gesture on my part, but the harvest from it was plentiful.
The incident has served as a reminder to me again and again of the practicality of following Jesus in His example to us. He is kind, good and loving to us at all times, even when we’re not good, or kind or loving. His love draws me repeatedly into the warmth of His embrace and allows me to grow in the grace I’ve been given. With Him leading the way by example, I find mercy and grace flow easier with every trial. Small acts of kindness come much more naturally. It is pure joy to watch Him do marvelous things through my obedience to Him.
May He always receive the glory.
Amy Torres is a published writer and a spiritual adviser and counselor. She and her husband lead the college ministry at First Baptist Church in Patterson.