A Better Kind of LIfe
I daresay society encourages us to notice everything that is wrong and to stay resolutely steeped in the muck of our own outrage; so much so that one of the unfortunate inclinations of middle age is the tendency to be surprised by human kindness.
I get upset when things are not as I would have them. I grouse and grumble. I judge others without knowing their circumstance. The apostle James says “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so”(3:10). I think about this a lot and how I fall short.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34
Since having moved recently, I have been reflecting on a particular aspect of love: the special kind of goodwill and fraternity of a person who will help you move a large piece of furniture. I was stunned at the number of saints who helped. Even one who had lost his home in the Camp Fire helped useless ol' me stack bookshelves in the back of a U-haul. He could have been bemoaning his misfortune, but instead he was serving.
I wonder how much good it actually does to complain. I rather think it does the opposite, and I wonder if I might be a more joyful man if I blessed every time I felt inclined to curse.
I hope you realize, fellow Christian, that our eternal life with Christ has already begun. It began when we believed that He who was God in flesh, while we were sinners, died to pay for our sins and was resurrected as our living savior. As a result, we can be a blessing to others.
We can reflect the love that Christ has shown us and testify to the life we live in Him. One of life’s greatest kindnesses is listening to someone in a moment of need. Also, a gentle word in a dark world shines brightly. Doing good to one another shows our love to the world and knits the church closer together, glorifying Christ and foiling the enemy who seeks to sow division.
In this way we may beat the devil with a compassionate ear, kind speech, or by carrying one end of a sofa.