S (Scripture): Ephesians 4:29 Don’t let any foul words come out of your mouth. Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say. 30 Don’t make the Holy Spirit of God unhappy—you were sealed by him for the day of redemption. 31 Put aside all bitterness, losing your temper, anger, shouting, and slander, along with every other evil. 32 Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ.
5:1 Therefore, imitate God like dearly loved children. 2 Live your life with love, following the example of Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. He was a sacrificial offering that smelled sweet to God.
O (Observation): Paul instructs the Christian community he established to honor God with their lips and lives. They have been forgiven and set free from the standards of the world – pride, envy, anger – and have been given something else to live for: love, kindness, compassion.
A (Application): I wonder if we as a Christian community can find ways to speak in support of our refugee brothers and sisters AND find ways to do it without assuming other people share our values. This is the crux of Christian engagement in the world.
How do we show Christian love when others don’t share our values? What do we do about other Christians who don’t share our values?
I have a hard time dealing with people who don’t share values of love, kindness, and compassion. They say they are being compassionate, but typically that means being compassionate towards their own self / community.
We are good at looking at others and saying that THOSE people have something screwed up internally, but when WE are at fault, it is usually something beyond our control. Or we just deny fault of any kind.
May we find that all of us receive forgiveness from the faults we possess. May we find grace and compassion are the ways forward.
P (Prayer): Lord, helps us to see that you are our source of grace, and that all of us need it to be sustained. Amen.