It’s the first day of summer and at 7:55 this morning, my friend and I briefly spoke on the phone and laughed that already we had broken up 27 arguments, put a lid on the whining 8 times, stopped a punch to the face, and cleaned up 15 messes.
I’m exaggerating, but that’s what it felt like.
How could it be the first day of summer and my kids were already fighting?
Well, there are lots of reasons for that – selfishness, pride, envy – but I’m not going to go into that today.
It was what happened later.
My four kids happily playing together, enjoying each other’s company.
So simple, but a lesson for me, and perhaps for you.
Our world says that when we disagree with someone, when we have an argument with someone, when we feel like complaining because someone did something to us, when we feel like punching someone in the face (hopefully you don’t act on that!) and when we have to clean up someone else’s mess, the world says that we are allowed to quit on them.
We are allowed to put up a wall and shut them out.
We are allowed to unfriend, ignore, avoid and ghost them.
Our world says that when we disagree with someone, we can cancel them.
But that’s not what God says.
God doesn’t say to quit and cancel one another, God says to bear with each other and forgive each other (Colossians 3:13).
God says to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12).
And He says that above all, we are to put on love (Colossians 3:14).
Love here is the Greek word “agape.” This type of love that God is talking about is an active love. It’s the type of love that God has for His children. He loves us and therefore acted upon that love by sending Jesus to die for us.
In these verses, God tells us to “put on” that love and act on it by bearing with each other, forgiving each other, being compassionate and kind towards each other, being humble and gentle and patient with each other.
Being active in our love means actively choosing to forgive when others hurt us. It means actively choosing to put others’ needs before our own. It means choosing kind words instead of abrasive words. It means choosing to be patient and slow to anger when all you want to do is get mad.
Putting on active love binds us all together in unity.
My kids chose to love…at least this time!
They forgave, they were kind, they were compassionate, and they were humble.
And the result of that was a fun time together.
Sometimes for me, and possibly for you, friend, it seems easier to just cancel each other. Would you join me in praying that we would have the courage to not cancel each other, but that we would put on love?
The result will be unity in Christ.
And that’s something we could definitely use more of.
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
God, show us where and how we can choose agape love and may it unite us for your glory.