The world we live in is pretty harsh these days. Everywhere we look people seem to be clashing when their worldly views don't align. We don't have to scroll very far on social media to see a full on battle behind the screens. Some days it has taken me all the willpower I can muster to not type up a not so nice reply. I always try and see the view from all sides, but a break from Facebook land has done me so much mental good. Being oblivious to the noise has been quite blissful! Not to mention, I have so much time back not being chained to the ever-so-tempting notifications.
How has humanity become so cold, so heartless? Why are we so focused on being right over being in a relationship? It is most certainly not because we are following the example of our Lord.
"The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love." Psalm 103:8
It seems we can learn a lot from one short verse: compassion, grace, patience with our temper, and an overflow of love.
When we show compassion for others, we recognize their suffering and make an effort to help. When we show compassion to others we are ultimately showing love.
Grace is showing mercy to someone when it is unwarranted. God shows us his grace by loving us maybe when we don't deserve it. We can't earn his grace; he gives it freely every single day, every single time. Grace takes strength. How do we show grace when we don't feel compassion? Maybe try and remember a situation when someone was kind to you when you didn't deserve it. Maybe remember how that felt.
Slow to anger...how do we keep our tempers in check when we are in the heat of the moment? Walk away, give the situation a minute. Or if you are boiling, maybe you need a day or a week to step away and collect your thoughts. It's easier to come back to a situation than to take away something you regret saying or doing.
These four qualities are interwoven. It's hard to use just one without a little bit of the other. Grow one quality and the rest might follow suit.
If we can make a conscious effort to embrace even one of these qualities on a daily basis, we are becoming more like Jesus. His example of these qualities is so perfect for the rest of us who are not. So maybe the next time you are ready to blow up at someone over a difference of opinion, stop and think of what God's perspective of the situation would be. If he can find reasons to love this person, maybe so can we.