This year for Christmas, I am making a series of posters for my daughter's room. This verse, Be Kind to One Another, is the first one in the series of eight. The whole verse from Ephesians 4:32 is Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Through these posters I am hoping a few particular verses from the Bible will sink deep into my child's heart and she will have them as a basis to build her life on. Right now she is middle school, and much like middle school from my day, the girls can be vicious to each other. Its a real dog eat dog world over there in middle school before these young ladies obtain a veneer of politeness. She and I have had a number of talks about what it means to be kind to people who are not kind to you, why we should bother with that. And what it means to act out daily what she believes and how to be the kind of person Jesus wants her to be.
It's hard to stay tenderhearted when the whole world seems to be telling you to toughen up, be strong, and not take things personally. The key, I am learning, is described in this verse: to keep God's forgiveness and loving kindness firmly in the front of my mind. I am seeking to make this a habit of my mind, to constantly remember all that the Lord has done, and let that peculate through all my interactions. This doesn't come naturally to me. Naturally I am critical, self-protective, and judgmental. But I can choose how I want to think and how I think will become who I am. How are you changing how you think?