12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
During a recent walk with my neighbor, I was shocked when out of nowhere she blurted out, “Jodie- I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but you don’t work? You need to make some money so you can take care of yourself and your children. What if Doug runs off with another woman? What would you do?” “Well,” I quickly replied “I trust God and I trust my husband so I have no need to fear.” As she continued to plead her case, my mind began to wander…….
“dang! this woman just insulted my worth as a stay at home wife & home-school mom AND she’s accusing my husband of wanting to be unfaithful!!!”
But then the Holy Spirit gently interjected “she does not know me….she does not trust me…”
As my mind re-engaged in the conversation, my friend said again, “you know, Jodie, I don’t want to hurt your feelings…I just don’t trust NO ONE, not even my husband.”
DING, DING, DING- there it was, blinking like a neon sign right in front of me, exactly what the Lord just revealed: she trusts NO ONE.
Fortunately, instead of reacting in anger and becoming greatly offended by her false accusation the Lord poured out His Spirit and allowed me to show mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience towards my new friend. It was also God’s perfect timing because it was only the day before that she confessed that she was lonely- and needed a friend. It was only the day before that she wept, telling me that her beloved dog had just passed away. It was only the day before that she shared about her belief in Buddha- and that she was trying so hard to be a “good person.” It was only the day before that my heart ached and my eyes filled with tears as I realized how lost she was. It was only the day before that I told her about Jesus- the greatest friend she could ever know. It was only the day before that I asked God to continue to use me to draw her to Himself.
Every day, God gives us the opportunity to love our “neighbors”….whether its our spouse, our children, our extended family, our co-workers or those that live next door or down the street. The question is: will we be offended by their words or actions towards us, or will we allow the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to help us love them?
And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”