The Upper Room Devotion for Thursday, January 11, 2024, was written by Arene Rains Graber of Kansas.
12 As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:12-17 NRSV
My day started with hurt and irritation from a friend's critical remarks. While I ran errands my anger grew, and I began to develop a grudge. The grocery store parking lot was full, but I spotted an open space one lane over. I sped up and rounded the corner to grab it but then saw a car approaching with its blinker flashing. I scowled as I waited for the other driver to park. But to my surprise, the man stopped and waved me into the parking spot. I was grateful but unmoved by the gesture.
I raced through the store and found myself befind the same man in the checkout lane. He turned, smiled, and began emptying my cart for me while the cashier scanned his items. I stood amazed. I returned the smile and thanked him for both good deeds. He shrugged and said, "it doesn't cost anything to be nice." I cringed and felt my face go red as I remembered Jesus' command: "Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another" (Jn. 13:34). I realized I was angry over something trivial, and a sudden rush of gratitude swept over me. I am thankful for the man whose acts of kindness had an impact on my attitude.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
I invite you to reread Arene's reflection and ask yourself: Will I allow God to use me to be a blessing to others through acts of kindness and compassion today?
Dear Lord, help us to focus on being kind when things don't go our way. May we always remember to love one another no matter what the circumstances. Amen.