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I find this troubling tendency in my own soul. I see the kinds of things Jesus wants for us–loving others, responding kindly, going out of our way to serve others, putting the needs of others before our own–and I genuinely long to live that way with those I come in contact with throughout the day. Except . . . I tend to think that there must be exceptions when it comes to those with whom I do most of life.

I think that we should love others, expecting nothing in return (Luke 6:35) . . . except with my spouse and kids. They should reciprocate my love and care! I believe we should value others as more important than ourselves (Philippians 2:3) . . . except with my co-workers. My priorities and wants are at least as important as theirs! I am sure that Jesus wants me to the servant of all (Mark 9:35) . . . except for family members. I shouldn’t be the only one doing all the serving in this house!

It’s sad . . . but all too common. I hold this internal debate about why I have already gone the extra mile–when I feel I am being imposed upon. I argue internally over having already laid down my life–when I feel that I have to surrender my wants and longings in order to serve another. I get frustrated when I am overlooked or my desires seem to be ignored–when I feel that I have already proved that I am attentive to the needs of others.

And then the words come out. Words that are not full of grace. Words that don’t build up and encourage. And my heart is challenged  by Paul’s words to the Colossians.

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:5-6)

Always, Paul? Should my speech always be with grace? Even when I am underappreciated, overlooked, ignored, or treated poorly. In those moments of what feels like neglectful treatment at the hands of other, I often am unsure of how to respond. Should I be defensive? Should I call the other person’s attention to the error of their ways? Should I contrast how he or she is treating me with how I consistently seek to treat him or her?

I wonder if my uncertainty about how to respond is rooted in my unwillingness to let my speech always be with grace. For Paul says that with that kind of “seasoning” I will know how to respond to each person.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you!!! I have asked the same!!!

  2. Wow, this is the same Street that i live on, with the same questions. Amazingly though God has placed ministers in our way as part of the body of Christ with insight, vision, discipline to studying the word of God, and practicable applications for our benefit. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Col 4: 5 & 6 just reminded me of where i always need to be. Haleluljah to the Lamb of God.


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