Ephesians 4:32 (TLV)
"Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other just as God in Messiah also forgave you."
The other day I was listening to my grandchildren having an argument over something and call each other names, and hurt each other's feelings, and then somebody started crying and came running to Nana. I sat them down to have a talk with them about the way they spoke to one another. I told them if I didn't know they were brother and sister and actually loved each other, I would think that they really hated being together. Megan told me that he was just a little brother who bothered her all of the time and she just couldn't stand it. Dax told me that she was a big sister who is always mean to him.
I began explaining to them the way Jesus says we should treat one another and how we should always love one another, and speak kindly, show kindness, and be gentle with one another. I asked if they talk to their friends like that, and they told me they were nice to their friends. I asked them why that was and they said because if they weren't nice to their friends, their friends wouldn't play with them.
And I got to thinking about how sometimes it is easier to be kind towards people we don't know and how it can sometimes be difficult to be kind towards the people we live with every day.
No one can aggravate me more than my husband. Sometimes I think he enjoys aggravating me and
does it on purpose! We can get on one another's nerves once in awhile and sometimes we say harsh things that we don't really mean. In our frustration, the people closest to us are often the ones that see the worst side of us.
It's a terrible thing to think that we are kinder to strangers because we don't want them to see our bad side, the side we don't mind showing to our family every single day. But that isn't how God wants us to treat anyone especially not our families. Jesus was an example to each and everyone of us to be patient, kind, loving, generous, patient, patient, patient...
I get very impatient when I'm driving - people in other cars just seem to do that to me. So thinking about the verse above, I began this little habit of saying, 'practice patience, practice patience, practice patience,' until it makes me laugh and I can continue without feeling frustrated. So I started doing that when I feel frustrated with other people at home or wherever I might be. I want to practice patience in all things, but especially with the ones I love.