Packing up my good heirloom dishes to take home from the Ladies’ Tea was a tedious chore. It required wrapping each individual piece, as those who have moved will understand. Fragile dishes, especially thin china, like people, require special handling to avoid breakage.
As I was wrapping each piece, I remembered the misunderstanding my husband and I had the night before. My heart was pierced by the Holy Spirit’s convicting power. My words were harsh in frustration and irritation. Clearly he was not measuring up to my expectations, nor I his. We were at odds over something trivial. The realization of the hurt I had caused with my sharp words and ugly attitude made me cringe in shame.
Surely a person I love more than anyone else in the world should be treated with as much care as my fragile dishes. For after all, aren’t people far more valuable than heirloom dishes? I take such good care of my precious things, but forgot to care for what was truly precious.
If we treat those we love so poorly, what about those we pass in life we don’t know or love. Is this how Jesus treats people? We know He doesn’t. Jesus gave His life for all people so they might be saved from the punishment of sin and reconciled to the Father in Heaven.
The Bible provides much evidence of His loving care for fragile souls…
*Remember the woman caught in adultery. The men of the town were ready to stone her, but Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7b, KJV)
*Then there’s the woman from Canaan whose daughter was “vexed with a devil.” She asked for mercy, but Jesus answered, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” The account continues, “Then came she and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, help me. But He answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” (Matthew 15:23-28)
Jesus compassion and love for people is found throughout the New Testament. His concern for their eternal wellbeing is demonstrated by the Great Commission:
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
We need to love as Jesus does. Love is demonstrated by being forgiving, longsuffering, and meek. Looking to the needs of others rather than ourselves, we can demonstrate selfless love.
Embrace and exhibit the fruits of the Spirit…
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:22-26
Let us keep these verses in our heart and on our mind so they may help us guard our tongue and exhibit behavior pleasing to Him.
Copyright © 2012 Linda Hull, Words of Encouragement