Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "When Morning Gilds The Skies"1 (Lyrics)
Twice in one month, I was aware of being called "nice". Both situations arose as unexpected challenges. The other people involved had a reasonable expectation that I could be impatient and disparaging. Instead, I applied Christ's Golden Rule:
Luke 6:31 – Do to others as you would have them do to you. (NIV)
At first, I didn't think "nice" was much of a compliment. Then I asked in prayer what it could mean, and this acronym came to mind: Now In Christ's Employ.
A week or two before facing those unexpected challenges, I had studied the third chapter of Colossians. Here are some relevant verses:
Colossians 3:10,11b,12,14,17,23,24 – Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (NIV)
From now on, if someone calls me "nice", I will translate it to mean "Now In Christ's Employ" and take it as encouragement and an opportunity to give thanks to God our Father. Prior to the time in my life when I took Christ seriously, I can't think of anyone who would have called me "nice".
What I am learning as a follower of Christ is that just as I must get dressed every day, I must ask the Father daily to clothe me in His virtues and give me wisdom so that I can view situations more as He sees them. Wisdom lets me understand what He wants me to say and do. I have also learned that obeying Christ's Golden Rule first requires daily appreciation of the awesome, gracious loving He has already lavished on me.
As we prepare to work for the Lord today, let's remember our work clothes. Our dress code is compassion like pants, kindness as a shirt, humility represented by a hat, gentleness characterized by gloves, patience symbolized by a wrist watch, and our entire uniform covered by an overcoat of love.
Prayer: Father, please enable us to demonstrate with all our hearts Your powerful love in word and in deed. We ask this in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.