How we treat one another

I am really enjoying my sub teaching time this week, but I’m forcing myself to have restful afternoons so that I’m not exhausted by the time I have to start up teaching at MY school on Thursday.  I took a short nap and then caught the end of a show that I had paused before I tucked in Little One.

I was just flipping through channels, waiting for him to finish up his lunch and I happened upon an episode of “One Tree Hill.”  I’m not sure why I stopped and started watching–I don’t follow this series.

I could tell early on that the episode was going to be about a crisis in a high school involving an angry student and a gun.  What gripped me, though, were the emotions behind the student’s action.

If people didn’t ignore him, they made fun of him or gave him a very hard time.  He said that his best day was a day when everyone ignored him.  How sad.

Isn’t this commonplace, though?  This happens every day, every where.

That doesn’t make it ok.

We might feel like we’re not the bullies, but the littlest things we say which betray a confidence or shed poor light on someone (when we could have just kept quiet) tear down a person’s reputation, bit-by-bit.  I think most of us are guilty of having done this at least once.

I don’t like confrontations.  I don’t like discord.  I like everyone to be one big, happy family who respects each other.  Once I got punched in the stomach in grade school by a boy I had always tried to be nice to (because that was my way).  He was getting picked on by a lot of people, and for whatever reason he took it out on me at that moment.  It knocked the wind out of me.

Sure, some things that people do annoy me or baffle me.  I’m far from perfect.

But, listen to this:

Titus 3

Doing What Is Good

“1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. 11 You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

I realize that I didn’t end on the most cheerful note, but I went onto Bible Gateway and just typed in a random search, and these were the passages that came up, and I felt they fit my mood after seeing the episode mentioned above.

There was no reason for God to take the measures He did to save us, but He was merciful, anyhow.

We don’t need to quietly ignore that which is evil around us–we certainly should “warn a divisive person”, but may our actions with one another stem from mercy and love.  May God’s love shine through us in word and action.

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One Response to How we treat one another

  1. Kevin says:

    This section is a good example of how Paul weaves both law and gospel here. Verses 4-7 are gospel, showing Christ’s love for us, and also how we die to sin and are raised to new life in our baptism.
    Now, seeing what God has done for us, we are spurred on toward thankful living with true motivation: the gospel!

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