I’m writing this column on Wednesday of this week which is Feb. 14, better known as Valentine’s Day. And like they say, “Love is in the air!” Everywhere I went today, I saw people looking at gifts to buy for their loved ones, shopping for that special card to give and I even overheard one guy making reservations for dinner for him and his wife. (That was me and I almost forgot to do it.) At any rate, there seemed to be a little less “worldliness” being expressed such as anger, temper and a short patience and most everyone had a smile on their face and they were being unusually nice to each other. I thought “Why does it take special days like Valentine’s Day and Christmas and birthdays and anniversaries for people to be nice to each other?” Why can’t we be nice to each other every day?
Think about this. What kind of a world would it be if we treated each other like we would like to be treated? I guess someone much smarter than me once told us that that’s how we should live, didn’t He? It’s called the “Golden Rule” and it’s found in Matthew 7:12. “Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them — this is the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus said that however we wanted others to treat us we were to treat them like that. I mean, how difficult is that? If I want someone to smile at me, I should smile at them. If I want a kind word said to me, I should say a kind word to them. Have you ever noticed that the mood can be set by the way we act? Let me explain.
Suppose I come home from a hard day at work. Beth is home before me and she has had a hard day at work too. Well, I come through the door, slam it behind me, yell at the dog to get out of the way, kick the cat (No letters, please. I would never do that it’s just for illustration.) and then yell at Beth “What’s for supper? I’m hungry.”
How do you think that would go? You’re right. Not very well. And the mood would be set for the rest of the night, wouldn’t it? But what if I come through the door having the same hard day at work, but I close it gently, lean down and pet the dog, pet the cat and walk up to Beth and she stands up and we embrace for a few minutes before sitting down on the couch and telling each other about our day? Then, one of us would suggest we go out for dinner because neither one of us wants to cook, and we enjoy a quiet evening (or even an hour) out with each other. What will be the mood for the rest of the night? Probably pretty good. And it all started because someone was willing to set aside their feelings and their mood and be interested in how another person felt. See, when we put ourselves aside and we attempt to meet the needs of others, whether our spouse or family member or neighbor or co-worker or anyone else, things usually go better. It’s the same way in church too.
We don’t always have to have our way in church. (I know that might come as a surprise to some.) We don’t always have to be right at church. For the sake of the unity of the fellowship, Paul says, we are to strive to get along together. Strive means to put forth the extra amount of effort in order for something to happen. We give it our very best effort and when we do, the unity of the family is preserved. Both in the home and in the local church body.
I’d like to encourage you to get back to square one this week. Stop trying to see that everything always goes your way and start putting other people in your life first. Make them priority number one. Seek to make their lives a little easier by being easier to get along with. Put the Lord first in your life and then let His love flow through you to others around you and see … just see what kind of a world you will begin to live in. It will be eye opening and you and others will be glad you did.
And that is Something to Think About for this week.
If you are on Facebook, you can watch our service live on Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. Simply like our Facebook page at Crossroadslondon and watch.
Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 2343 U.S. Route 42, London, one mile west of Kirkwood Cemetery. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.
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