June 28, 2009
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
When people celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, everything is supposed to be -- well, golden.
Even if the couple doesn't like each other, they usually try to put on a good front. That's why I was surprised when I heard about one couple that had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
When the festivities were over, the wife said to her husband, "We've been miserable for 50 years. We've fought every day. We've disagreed on everything, and I am convinced we can't keep going like this. I have made a commitment to pray that God will help us solve this problem. I'm praying He will take one of us home. And when he answers my prayer, I'm going to go and live with my sister in Grand Rapids."
Maybe there is somebody in your life that you would like the Lord to take home, so you can be with your "sister in Grand Rapids."
Most of us know a person who makes us miserable. It may be a boss who is a tyrant. It may be the person at the next desk who snaps chewing gum or a whining child next to you on a cross-country airplane trip.
It's really difficult to deal with such individuals in Christian charity. Yet, God tells us that because of Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection, He forgives our shortcomings, and we ought to do the same for others.
It's hard, but it's possible with God's help. Don't let somebody else's bad habits keep you from reflecting the love you have received from the Savior.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, sometimes it's hard to be a Christian in this sinful world. That's because it's easy to look at the negative qualities of those around me. Heal me, Lord, from the bad habits I have, and help me see others through Your loving eyes. In Your mighty Name, I pray this. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries