When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
Do you see your physical beauty or do you see your blemishes?
Do you see you form fitting clothes or that wrinkle just at the knee?
Do you see that fantastic haircut or do you see that strand out of place?
Do you see the perfectly carved glass or the crack at the top right corner?
What you see in the mirror can be a reflection of what’s good and what’s not-so-good and I think we can often project that to how we look at other people particularly our fellow Christians who, let’s face it, we hold to ridiculously high standards we even struggle to meet ourselves.
I find it’s so easy to focus on the not-so-good things people do to and for us, over the million-and-one good things they might have done for us in the past. It really often takes one wrong step for us to eradicate our archive of good memories of someone.
I have come to learn how super important it is to tailor the eyes of our hearts to see more of the good and, eventually, none of the not-so good in other people. Will people hurt you? Disrespect you? Take you for granted? Tell exaggerated lies about you? Betray you? Umm, they sure will! But as Christians I guess this is where we are called to a higher divinity.
The number one commandment is to love God and then love others. I know that word is tossed around so often that it has lost all meaning but in case you need a solid reminder of the kind of love we are called up to as Christians, First Corinthians chapter 13 verses 4 to 7 sets clear precepts. The verse that has stood out to me the most in the last few months as a STOP light and prompting is in verse 5, “Love…does not take into account a wrong endured.” (extracted). Dunno ’boutchu but I struggle with this one! I can forgive you but my long term memory is quite solid. You might ask why remembering would be a big deal if you’ve forgiven anyway: well, the fact is that your memories form a basis for future actions whether you like it or not because, you are unconsciously keeping scores. I believe that for the kind of love we are to aspire to exhibit, bad memories simply have no place.
I also always say that, you can’t control what people say or do to you but you can definitely control your reactions. For me, this is when I have to pull out my confessions on self control: in order not to compulsorily have the last word or unnecessarily defend myself; to trust that God will sort out any mess of my reputation people have made; to turn the other cheek and love regardless.
Basically, my aim is to live out Colossians chapter 3 verses 12 to 14 as best as I can DAILY:
“So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper]; bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive. Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others]”.
So next time you feel people have really taken you for a fool or you even have proof of their stacks of atrocities towards you, then ask yourself: Am I perfect? No. Do I offend others? Probably more than I realise. Therefore, bearing our imperfect nature in mind, it only makes sense that we see and treat others as we know we would like to be seen and treated (Luke 6:31).
Lots of Stephy love,