Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It's All About Love - Part 3

1 Corinthians 13:5It (love) is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. "

5 Christ is not rude, He is not self-seeking.” No kinder man has ever walked this earth, and He always sought and obeyed His Father’s will. It is easy to be rude this day and age, especially when we are busy. So, busy that we lose patience waiting in line. Before the holidays I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from a long day, as my husband wanted a soda for a movie that night. (We don’t keep soda in the house.) The specific brand he wanted could only be purchased inside the store in one of those coolers near the checkout. The store was terribly busy – lines were long. I had ONE soda! The express line had about 8 people, and all of course, appeared to have the maximum amount of items to check out. No one was at the service counter.
I was tired, and not in a good mood - all of this waiting for one soda. Finally, a new checkout line was opened up…and three of us jumped to the new line. The woman ahead of me saw that I had only one item and a dollar bill in my hand –and no doubt I was tapping my foot like I do when I am terribly impatient. She asked if I would like to step ahead of her. Bless her heart! I had no idea if she was a Christian – but who had the better behavior that day? Shame on me.
That random act of kindness was a very good lesson. Now, when I am in a check out line I notice those around me. If I see a woman in line with a young child, acting up, I can relate. I’ve been there (and still have those days when shopping with my daughter). I am more than willing to offer them my spot, and show a little compassion. It costs me nothing, but sure fills my heart.

“Christ it is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs.”
There is only one instance in the Bible where I can recall Christ becoming angry – and not for the lack of opportunity. So many things happened in the Bible that would have simply ticked off an ordinary man. Christ is so forgiving – He knows of our human frailties and short-comings. If we were to put all our faults on a balance scale, and Christ’s love on the other – His love will always outweigh the wrongs we commit.
Since Christ has entered my heart there is very little that makes me truly angry. One of the most wonderful things about our household is that there has never been an outburst -we've never yelled at each other. This is not to say we don't get upset with one another, but it's how we handle it. Christ's love is pretty evident in our home by how we treat one another.
Dealing with frustration and anger is more difficult for me, outside the home. I have tuned in to my signs of potential anger, and have learned how to ward it off by lifting up my frustration in prayer. When I can see a situation's potential for heated discussion, I just take a deep breath and ask the Holy Spirit to take over my lips and my mouth. I can tell you that the person who is angrily having a discussion with me is simply taken aback by my calmness. I come away from the situation feeling I did all I could in the name of Christ's love, and am inclined to pray for the other person and the situation.

Today I challenge you to do a random act of kindness for a stranger. Whether it be allowing a young mother ahead of you in the checkout line, holding the door for another, or complimenting a person on their appearance - little things that can be so big in showing Christ's love as we continue our journey towards heaven.

1 comment:

Angela said...

Love your blog, Rita! Very cool!