“A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.” Proverbs 18:19
Relationships are a complex thing. They make up quite a bit of our existence, whether it be for the good or for the bad.
In fact, God has placed great importance on relationships. The two main themes in the Bible are about man’s relationship with God, and man’s relationship with the rest of mankind.
When God Himself places so much emphasis on the way people treat each other, we are wise to make it a top priority in our own lives as well.
It would seem the current trends of the internet have caused many to forget their manners when interacting with their fellow man. Social media sparks many debates, and the outcome is often two opposing opinions that are slinging insults at each other in hopes to win the debate.
Lack of manners has spilled out onto the streets in some areas. Cell phones have caught many grown adults screaming and fighting over things that should be easily handled with composure.
It’s safe to say that many have forgotten their manners, putting on quite a display for the entire world to see just how unruly mankind can be. It is not something to be proud of. Rather, it should bring shame.
The Christian that has forgotten to be kind, compassionate, patient and loving is a Christian that is no longer allowing the Spirit of God to influence his or her heart.
When the world around us sees our words and actions as being no different from the troublemakers or difficult people we come in contact with in our cities and neighborhoods, we need to do our own soul-searching and repenting before our Lord. Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” Being conformed to the world will cause us to take on their ways of living. God’s desire is the opposite, that we follow Philippians 2:3-5: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…”
Serving the Lord calls us to conduct ourselves as a child of God. Our mission on Earth is to show Jesus to others. Every soul matters to Him. To offend a lost soul because of carelessness makes reaching his heart for Jesus nearly impossible.
Bad behavior is unacceptable behavior. That being said, the Spirit of God moving in our hearts can give us great grace to be patient with our fellow man. The current pandemic has battered the world, and life is not the same. The stress from the sickness and its many tentacles that have reached families, jobs, schools and more has turned parts of the world upside down. Those without hope are suffering.
We have an opportunity to let Jesus shine through us as the world grasps for help and hope. Let us shape ourselves according to His will and His ways, that our lives are a demonstration of our kind and loving God.