Reminders to myself because I so easily stray:
1. I am accountable for the plank in my eye, not the speck in the eye of another. Too many times I catch myself distracted policing others when I am full of things within me to defeat.
2. I am called to live within boundary lines not promote battle lines, and to love others is to invite others to enjoy life within these boundaries that have fallen for me in pleasant places because Christians aren’t called to claim their rights but lay their lives.
3. Jesus wisely partnered love for God with love for others. Why? Because He understood that man is so simpleminded, that he would think that he was pleasing God by attacking others in His name. He understood that without clear instructions to love others, man’s religious zeal would turn him into a Pharisee at best, someone policing others but blind to their own flaws, or worse, a terrorist, someone who feels righteous in hurting or even killing others in God’s name. Jesus was clear: Christians love God and love others through laying their own comforts, dreams, and conveniences that they may serve others, including those that threaten them.
4. How I respond to circumstances says more about me than it does about others. I need to watch my own heart. What do my responses reveal about me?
5. Finally, to be dignified means to respond not react. It means to love others not because they’re loving, but because I’m called to be loving. It means showing kindness not because others have been kind but because I’m called to be kind. It means forgiving others not because they’re right or have said sorry, but because I’m called to be forgiving.