Put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another.
At the end of a conference in Nairobi, Kenya, our group traveled from the conference center to a guesthouse to prepare to fly back home the next morning. When we arrived, one person in our group reported that she had forgotten her luggage back at the conference center. After she left to retrieve it, our group leader (always meticulous on detail) criticized her sharply to us in her absence.
The next morning when we arrived at the airport, the leader discovered to his dismay that he too had left his luggage behind. It and his passport were back at the guesthouse. It was now going to cost us even more to go for his baggage. Later, he apologized and said to all of us, "I'll never criticize so harshly again!"
Because we all have faults and weaknesses, we should bear with one another and forgive each other when things go wrong (Colossians 3:13). We need to be constructive in our criticism and "clothe [our]selves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (v.12 NIV).
When correction is necessary, it should be done with kindness and love. In that way we become imitators of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Today
Dear God, You know that there are times when I just don't feel patient and humble and gentle. Those days in my life, the fruit of Your Spirit seems in short supply. Please enable me to love others today. Amen.