I know I missed posting last week, but I didn’t feel like I had anything important to share…so I didn’t. I want messages, emails and posts from me to be worth your time. I want you to trust me with your time. Time might be the most valuable resource any of us have. So, as I move into this new role, I want to make sure to give good content to families and especially to you parents.
I read an article a few days ago and I really liked the basic message. I’m going to put my own twist on it and this is it … “PLAY NICE.”
Here is what I mean.
As things start to open up; restaurants, stores, salons, athletic competitions and churches, you are going to likely be in one of two camps. You are either thinking, “Thank you, Lord!” or “This is still way too soon!” And we have to be okay with both. You have to be okay with both. There is a very strong likelihood that someone close to you has the opposite opinion as you do. And we have to PLAY NICE with them. It doesn’t mean you have to change your opinion and agree with them. But it does mean you have to respect them. ESPECIALLY if they are a fellow Jesus follower.
I’m reminded of Colossians 3:13-15
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. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Now I understand this passage is not talking directly about an pandemic. But if we take the highlighted verses at face value, it gives us great insight to how we are supposed to handle people who have a different opinion. Especially if their opinion offends us. And this verse is NOT talking about someone who is sinning. Believing you need to wear a mask or not wear a mask and wanting to go to a restaurant or continuing to stay home are not sinful acts. They are just our opinions about the safest way to live through this season.
So, remember, we are ONE body, ONE church, ONE family. We are made up of different people with different opinions. We need to be ready to forgive each other. Do not make jokes about someone else, do not call someone a name, do not give each other dirty looks, do not think that your opinion is better than theirs. Do not complain about a venue if they decide to open or if they decide to stay closed. Do not share your displeasure if they set particular safety regulations that you don’t agree with.
The only person you can control is yourself (and maybe your 5 year old…on a good day, lol).
Instead, be ready to say “I’m sorry” if you offend someone. Be ready to POLITELY decline when you are invited to gather with your friends or family. Be ready to be okay with someone if they decline to gather with you. Be ready to give someone else the same understanding that you expect them to give you.
No matter who you interact with, remember…PLAY NICE!
And I say that, not only as a reminder on how we should behave, but also because little eyes are watching and ears are listening. When you complain, or whine, or belittle someone else behind closed doors, you are setting an example for your kids who are behind those closed doors with you. Use this as an opportunity to SHOW your kids how to forgive and how to be as ONE. As parents, you are the biggest influence in your kids’ lives. So, influence them well. Don’t waste this chance. Let’s do this church! Let’s not only be examples for our kids, but let’s be examples for everyone else; neighbors, extended family, peers, co-workers etc. Because they are watching how we as the church are handling things.
Get done what you need to get done. Hopefully have a little fun. And of course…play nice!