Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC

Colossians 3:12-13
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Kind words have a lasting effect.  During a recent trip to Sam’s for our monthly grocery stock up, I was amazed at what I saw.  After wheeling my basket into the lengthy check-out line, I parked and prepared myself for a long wait.  I was the fifth full cart and found myself growing bored and a little restless.  A conversation of frustrated shoppers behind me indicated I was not the only one.   As I looked around me, my eyes fell upon the cashier frantically pricing groceries as fast as she could.  She was frazzled and looked tired.  The line continued to inch forward until there was only one customer left before me, and he changed the entire scene.   

As he unloaded his cart, the man greeted the cashier with a cheery hello in broken English and a big smile to match.  He asked her how her day had been, and he compassionately nodded as she began to explain the rush of customers and being overdue for a break. He thanked her for her help and then offered to buy her a bottle of cold water from the snack bar.  She declined the water, but she appeared to have already been refreshed by his kindness.  Instead of a weary frown, she now wore a renewed smile.  As he awaited his total he then turned to me.  He noticed I had unloaded my cart and was now balancing an oversized package of paper towels hanging off the belt.  He smiled and pushed up one of my items making room for my last item to rest.  I couldn’t help but smile back.  Smiles and kindness are contagious!  The man walked away with his groceries, but the effect of his kindness stayed.  The cashier greeted me with a big cheery hello, just like his!  I responded as well with renewed patience, cheer, and conversation.  

What a difference this gentleman had made in a matter of minutes. He had plenty of excuses to remain silent.  He was probably tired too. He probably had somewhere he needed to be.  He could have even let language remain a barrier.  Instead, he chose to bear with others and wear kindness and compassion.  

In our fast-paced world, daily scenes like these are powerful reminders. As God’s chosen people, holy, and dearly loved we are called to clothe ourselves with Christ bearing his love and forgiveness.  Let this man’s example challenge you this week as it did me.  Instead of entitlement and impatience, let us put on humility.  

In Christ we have a new nature so let us ask, “do I show the world that I belong to Jesus?” Let us consider how we can bear with each other today and show God’s love even in the midst of daily errands and trying tasks. It might just have a lasting effect!

Father God, thank you for the grace and love you extend to me hourly.  Fill me with your compassion and kindness for others, not by my own power but by my new nature in Christ.  Remind me often to bear your gentleness and patience.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

1 Timothy 2:5-6
5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.