I can’t believe I said this to God just minutes before starting to write this message, but it’s true.
“I don’t want to be nice!” I exclaimed to God in my heart as I considered a situation.
God had led me to discontinue using a certain company’s services I assumed because their customer care in my opinion had really gone downhill. I felt a bunch of the customer care representatives had really fallen short though in truth the problem could have been at least in part a result of the company owners not the employees. Regardless, I supposed God was protecting me from the unnecessary stress and from something else related to that company. I was wrong!
Turns out when I sought the Lord about possibly returning to using the company’s services due to a ministry need, the Holy Spirit of God shocked me by showing me He had led me away because of MY SIN in my bad attitude and unkind treatment of the employees at times not because of their shortcomings!
God made clear He did NOT want me to sign up for the company’s services again unless I would be NICE to the employees! In other words, that I would treat them with love and kindness!
Oh, sure, I had apologized along the way to God and the people. But I had not sufficiently changed my wrong behavior! And certainly not my attitude! I needed to repent! Not merely toss up a quick apology to heaven and a few apologies to the people! I needed a heart change and a change in my words and actions!
God did not want me to sign up to use the company’s services again until I made a genuine commitment to treat the company’s workers with His love, kindness, care, patience, mercy, grace, forgiveness, etc.
My response? Like a 2-year-old, I said, “I don’t want to be nice!”
Amazing how we can follow the Lord Jesus Christ for years as I have and still fall so quickly into old ungodly attitudes and behavior.
God corrected me immediately.
Praise God for His loving chastening as He leads His followers to repentance and teaches us His ways.
I ended up excited to return to using the company’s services in part because this would be a benefit to my ministry and very much because I looked forward to doing right with the love and strength of Jesus what I had done wrong.
Friend, no matter how others treat us, no matter what they do or don’t do, no matter if they do a good job or a bad one, no matter their attitudes, words, and actions, no matter how far short they may fall, no matter what, we are to respond with and reflect the love and mercy and kindness of Jesus.
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 NKJV
“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4 NKJV
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him…Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Colossians 3:9-14 NKJV