The great theologian Charles Schultz once said, “I love humanity; it’s people I can’t stand.” Some people will hurt you, some will leave you, and some will love you and stay loyal to you until the end. Our scripture reading today reminds us that even Paul had difficulty with relationships.
So how do we deal with those difficult relationships? There was once a person that brought Brynea and me much stress. She would call in the middle of the night and be demanding and rude. She would scream in front of others when she wanted something. However, we never asked her to leave us alone, and we never tried to get even. You see, she was only a few months old, so it was easy for us to forgive our baby daughter’s behavior because we knew she didn’t know any better.
Now, there’s a world of difference between an innocent baby and a difficult adult. But if we are graceful and forgiving toward them and thankful to them for what they’ve taught us, we can begin to imitate Christ.
Think about the spiritual leaders and mentors who you are grateful for, the ones who were taken away. Now, visualize those relationships being given back to you as a gift. How grateful are you for the gift of them? How are you going to communicate that gratitude to them?