She was convinced that her friend did it on purpose, even though the friend denied it. At first she believed her friend, but the evidence against her was mounting and was now overwhelming. Instead of talking to her friend, again, and even bringing a mediator to the meeting, she decided that she would be cordial when she saw her at church, simply smile and speak. That would be it. “I’m still going to be kind to her,” she told me. “I have nothing against her, but I’m just going to smile and speak and keep going.”
I understood her reaction, having done as much myself. It takes a lot of energy to mend a situation that 1) you didn’t cause; 2) came about because it seems like someone lied; and 3) ranks on your list as trifling, and those you choose to do without. Yet the Scripture tells us to be good, which speaks to being useful in your disposition, expressed through the way you speak and what you do. This goes beyond the motions of speech and act but comes from a heart that seeks to be like Christ.
“By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).
“Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).
The goodness that we are called to is based upon these scriptures. Our behavior is not about us going along (going through the motions of speech and action) to get along (appearing that all is well amongst us). It’s about showing the world who we, Christians, belong to. Going beyond the appearance of good to actually saying and doing what is useful gives credibility to Christianity and Christians who call on the name of Jesus Christ as lord and savior. Judgment begins at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). And what better way to begin this process than with self-examination? We must seek true transformation in our interactions so the good we do is contagious and truly reflective of a heart seeking to be like Christ.
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith