Written by: Scotty Smith
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Eph. 4:32 ESV
Heavenly Father, this ought to be one of those “post-it-on-the-front-of-the-refrigerator-verses." No matter the situation, story, or scenario, you call us to respond grace-fully in our relationships. Not as doormats to be walked on, but as foot-washers, beloved of Jesus--tenderhearted, not touchy-hearted.
Forgive us for the moments, (and hours), when we give into our default mode of repaying indifference for indifference, stubbornness for stubbornness, coolness for coolness, wise crack for wise crack, pettiness for pettiness. We want to love others as Jesus love us, period. Blow a gospel-kazoo in our faces when we try to justify our pouting, self-righteousness, and "snarky-ness."
We greatly look forward to the Day when we'll be made perfect in love (1 John 3:1-1). But until that Day, grant us quicker repentances when we get annoyed or critical. Give us softer, kinder hearts when we feel prevailed upon or used. And help us offer gospel responses, instead of defensive reactions, when we experience the fruit of people's difficult day, old triggers, or sleepless night(s).
Remind us that everybody has a bigger story than the chapter we happened to walk into, on any given moment or day. Give us long fuses and short memories, when it comes to the brokenness of others.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, keep us robustly aware of our union with Christ, and all the riches of grace that come with that glorious standing in grace. May it become increasingly difficult for us to love poorly--no matter the provocation, prodding, or personality. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ kind and loving name.