"12 Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves in love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony." Colossians 3: 12 & 14
Verse 13 of this passage is good too, but I didn't want to make it so long that you'd stop reading. "Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others."
Last week we had something terrible happen in our town. A grandmother with mental illness, who had stopped taking her medicine, attacked and her grandchildren, killing two, then setting the house on fire. (One survived.)
At the gas pump last week, I over heard two men talking. The elderly one said, "I'm not trying to put anyone down, but if they knew she wasn't on medicine, why did they let her keep the kids."
Maybe they didn't know sir. Stop judging, sir. Is what I wish I could have said.
Let me tell you what our community did. Our community clothed themselves in love and covered this family with it.
Some children decided to have a lemonade stand to raise money for the family. It's been really hot here during the day, so ice cold lemonade can hit the spot for anyone. Here is a link to our local newspaper who covered the story: Albany Herald
This community raised $18,000 for this family!
The Pastor at my work went to talk to the father of the children last week. He said he couldn't believe that this man lost two of his three children, his mom, and his house in one day. He opened the church and on Saturday they had a memorial service.
This is EXACTLY how God wants us to treat people. Even when they aren't going through the most horrible moment in their lives. Just think what the world would be like if we were always tenderhearted with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
No more road rage. No more stealing. No more killing.
Even if it was just the Christians living this way.. even if WE would clothe ourselves in love, and help others see Jesus, we could make a difference in people's lives.
Will you do your best to follow this way of living? I know I am.
And a side note, but a very very important... forgive people. This lady, whoever she is, she needs forgiveness for what she did. She was not in her right mind, or she wouldn't have killed her own grandchildren. I know that's huge, but you can forgive the little stuff too. The guy who cut you off in traffic this morning. Forgive him. Your friend who stabbed you in the back, forgive her.
Life is too short to hoard forgiveness, mercy, kindness, gentleness, patience and humility.
What will you do today? I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and do something for someone that you wouldn't normally do. You'll be glad you did.