I am not THAT Important
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
I know that as a child of the Living God that I must be forgiving and kind, for Jesus taught about these things often...
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
But only one word is sticking out for me today from this Ephesians passage – tenderhearted. Ugh.
It’s so much easier to be hardhearted. It feels weird for a Christian to admit this because we are so appreciative of God’s love, right? But when someone hurts my feelings, it’s much easier for me to just write them off, “Who needs ‘em!” I’d rather ignore them, or treat them distantly than try to restore, understand, or empathize. It’s too much of a hassle and it’s humbling. I don’t like it; I don’t care for either of those! Even if they are trying to make amends to me, I prefer keeping them out in order to try and prevent a future situation or in order to keep them small and me BIG.
But this is the definition of tenderhearted according to the Apostle Paul...
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. (Galatians 6:1-3)
Tenderheartedness has nothing to do with the squishy feelings we get from holding a baby or the instinctual compassion that comes naturally from helping a person on whom we take pity. Tenderheartedness is remembering Paul’s words everyday, “You are not THAT important!”
Please forgive my arrogance and lack of humility. Help me remember that my comfort, my feelings, and my perceived station in life does not produce the godly character that you desire and that is so beneficial for my heart. I love that you call your children to be different and to live differently than everyone else and even what is contrary to human nature. Your ways benefit everyone – the doer and the receiver. I love you and thank you for your Holy Spirit reminding me everyday of my purpose and your plan. And I pray in Jesus’ name, according to your good will. Amen.