You’ve probably met people like me, and perhaps this describes you, too. Always striving to please, be liked, make others comfortable. I often take it a step too far when I try to “fix” things. My efforts are sometimes welcomed, and other times I just mess things up worse with my silver lining kind of attitude. Well, the opening verses of this chapter sure made me smile.
I suppose a lot of my joy bubbles up from inside because I know who I belong to. I am the daughter of a king. My Lord and Savior has my back. No matter what life throws my way I have His love and promise of eternity. The same is available for you, too! How does that make you feel?
We are also told, “And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” Some of us need more patience than others. I have always been an impatient person, and when I learned as a young adult that patience was a fruit of the Holy Spirit, I figured I needed a lot of that kind of fruit. It’s not that kind of fruit, the fruit you eat, but rather the fruit you bear. But that’s a whole different reflection — I should do Galatians one of these days.
For sure living in Mexico has taught me a lot about patience. This culture is not so prompt or driven to be on time. It would drive my daughter and father nuts, at least at first, because they are very punctual people. Actually “early” is best would be their motto. David and I have both grown in that area, or at least we don’t have unrealistic expectations of what “mañana ” means.
So living patiently and in peace and harmony with other believers is what God intends for us. But we mess it up. We have trouble being in harmony all the time. We all need to be a little bit more loving and less judgmental. All of us do it. I don’t think anyone I know could say they have never gossiped or had a disagreement with another Christian. It’s how we handle the situation, with unity in mind, joining one voice in praise. The song, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.”(LISTEN HERE) helps us remember we need to act in ways “fitting for believers.” That was a lot different version than I remember from Sunday School!
I love verse 7, “Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.” That is really something. First of all, those are some big shoes, we must accept “just as Christ” accepted us. If he can accept imperfect me, I should at least be able to accept others. God will be given glory when we act in harmony. That’s cool, isn’t it? It gives us some good incentive at least.
Paul’s prayer for the Romans can be our prayer for each other. “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Let’s pray. Lord, I do thank you for your sweet mercy and grace. Forgive me when I forget to be loving and accepting of my brothers and sisters. May my joy make others curious to know more about you. Help me to boldly proclaim how you are working in my life. Shine through me. Continue to help me grow in my patience as I wait for your timing. It is perfect after all. In Jesus’ name. Amen.