Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

The Art of Being Nice

My kids once had a bus driver named Mrs. Nice.  Really, I’m not making this up.  Of course, in our house, the jokes abounded:  “She’s a Nice lady.  Her kids are probably Nice kids.  When her husband proposed, he said, ‘You would be Nice if you married me.'”  Terribly original, I’m sure.

Dictionary.com defines nice as pleasing, agreeable, or delightful.(A nice visit)  Or amicably pleasant, kind (they are always nice to strangers).  We teach our grandson to be nice to the dog, which means to pet her softly and not pull on her ears or tail.  He’s still working on it.

Paul encourages the Ephesians to be nice, too.  He says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)  Sound impossible?  He goes on to urge them to “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children . . .” (5:1a)   That makes more sense.  We can only really be nice to each other when we allow the source of Love — God — to love through us.

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I don’t feel like being nice.  Oh, I don’t think I could ever be downright nasty to someone.  I’m not that bad.  But always being as kind and patient as I should be, as God would be?  With certain people, in certain circumstances, I can be just plain —  well — not nice.  How about you?

It’s easy to make the excuse that I’m just tired, or busy, or distracted.  Sorry.  Didn’t mean to be unkind.  I’m so glad that my Heavenly Father is never too tired or busy or distracted to be nice to me.

So I’m still working on not pulling ears or tails, even a little bit.  Thankfully I have the best teacher in the Universe.

Copyright 2012 – Mary E. Egidio –  permission is granted to share this post, but with attribution, and not for commercial purposes.

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What Are You Wearing?

This past weekend, my son presented a beautiful engagement ring to a fine Christian girl and asked that all-important question, “Will you marry me?”

He took time and careful counsel to choose what he hopes is just the right ring for his intended.  He saved his hard-earned money and sacrificed to make payments until the ring was his.  He thought through how and where he would present the ring to her, to make the moment memorable. (she’s a children’s pastor, so he enlisted the help of the kids and did it at the end of the children’s church service)  Her acceptance of the ring indicated her acceptance of his love and their intention to spend their lives together as husband and wife.

But there’s a next step to this process that might seem pretty obvious.  How do you think my son would feel if she accepted the ring, but didn’t wear it?  That’s silly, you say.  She’ll be flashing that ring around for everyone to see!  Her choice to wear the ring demonstrates to the world her love and commitment to my son and their relationship

I believe the same is true of our relationship with Christ.  It’s not enough for us just to accept His forgiveness and salvation through His death on the cross.  Paul encourages the Colossians , “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other …Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)

It’s our choice to ‘wear’ the qualities Paul describes.  It seems obvious that we would want to wear them. This is how we declare to the world our love and commitment to the Son of God.  Putting on these virtues is an important part of demonstrating our relationship with Him and His children.  The world will know to whom we belong by our love for each other.

So…that’s what I’m wearing…besides that ‘mother-of-the-groom’ dress I’ll have to find.  Let the wedding planning begin!

Copyright 2010  Mary E. Egidio — permission is granted to share this work, but with attribution and not for commercial purposes.  (Yes, you can share this, but tell who wrote it, where you found it, and don’t try to sell it)

Handle With Care

An evangelist once said, “We tend to forget that the world is mostly made up of other people!”

Lately, I’ve been trying to take a good look at the people around me at any given time.  Whether I’m in the grocery store, a restaurant, or sitting in traffic,  I realize I’m surrounded by individuals just like me, who may be going through the darkest times of their lives, or the most joyful of experiences.  They may be frustrated, bored, or totally exhausted.  We never know what people may be facing.

I believe  Jesus was totally aware of the needs of everyone around him.  He reached out to them with love and healing.  The gospel writers tell us He had compassion on them.

The Bible commands us to “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)  I’ve come to realize that this holiness is letting God live through me.  It is getting out of the way and letting God take control, so He can love His people, using me to do the work.  He has uniquely equipped me to help Him in this effort.  Others will only see Him on this earth when I totally surrender to His will and control.

Oh yes, I understand that these people we are called to love aren’t always the most lovely people on earth.  Some of them are emotional porcupines; consciously or unconsciously pushing away any attempts to reach out to them. I could tell you stories on that account, and I’m sure you can, too.  But I’ve heard it said that when people are the most unlovely, that is when they need God’s love the most.  And you and I are  the channels of that love.

When that happens — when I get out of the way and let God love through me — I find I am more aware and sensitive to the needs of others.  I can reach out to them without keeping score or expecting something in return.  He helps me find a way through their barriers and pain.  God enables me to become His instrument of peace and healing.

It’s a world full of hurting people out there… handle with care.

Copyright (c) 2010  Mary E. Egidio – Permission is granted to share this work, but only with attribution, and not for commercial purposes.