Making critical assumptions comes all too easily for me.
Over and over the Lord makes me aware that I’ve done it…again. How thankful I am for grace that forgives, but when will I Iearn???
Recently I heard about someone who wouldn’t be participating in something awesome. Immediately my mind began making its ascent up Mount Critical, stopping to take mental photographs along the way. The next day I was in another conversation and someone else casually mentioned the same person (the one I’d criticized) and a need in their life. My heart ached for them – then the Holy Spirit brought to my mind that this was the reason they weren’t able to participate! They were suffering in a way that I had no idea! Instead of criticizing them, I should have automatically assumed there was a reason, rather than assuming they were slacking!
This morning in my Bible reading I came across a simple phrase that Paul said to the Colossians –
Remember my bonds.
Paul was suffering for the Gospel’s sake. He was patiently enduring while he was imprisoned. What would it do for the Colossians if they would remember Paul’s bonds? The same thing it does for me when I wisely consider another person’s trials, known or unknown:
- It would make us compassionate
- It would drive us to pray for that person
- It would keep our heart tender
- It would keep us from criticism
- It would cause us to be understanding and magnanimous
We don’t always know what’s going on in another person’s life. If truth be known, I’m sure we usually don’t know what others are dealing with. We all have trials and would appreciate others being thoughtful of them, right? Perhaps like me, you need to be reminded of Paul’s bonds, and those of the people that you live with, live next door to, work with, or those with whom you attend church.
Less criticism, more mindful of their bonds
that’s my new motto!
What does “Remember my bonds” say to you?
Refresh others by your loving consideration,