I thought about giving somebody a piece of my mind the other day. Then I thought, “Know what? I really can’t spare it!” I tend to suffer a bit of a brain cell shortage as it is. Why should I give any away when I need every piece?
But isn’t it amazing how some people know just how to find our anger buttons … and then they jump up and down on them?
I don’t wonder for a second why there’s so much in the Bible about relationships—heavy on the patience and forbearing and forgiveness and the go-the-extra-mile kind of love. I think so much of Scripture is dedicated to relationships because our Heavenly Father knows they can be oh so hard. Let’s face it, people can be jerky. And even when they’re not, sometimes I am.
So I guess this is just a little charge for all of us today. Let’s love each other. It’s our calling. Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus gave it in the form of a command, not as a suggestion. And according to our Savior himself, we wear our love for each other as a Disciple ID badge. We can show the world that Jesus makes a difference in our lives.
It does require extra humility and patience. But there’s nothing like living in obedience, and living in a way that promotes peace with God’s people. Paul instructed in Ephesians 4:2-3, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Hmm. Peace of mind instead of a piece of my mind. Not a bad trade.
Sometimes loving others involves getting rid of our own bad habits, impatient attitudes and short fuses. Ephesians 4:31-32 spells it out: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Difficult? Sometimes. But we not only have the forgiveness of God as our inspiration and the life of Christ as our example, but we also have the Holy Spirit living inside us, giving us everything we need to love others in his name. There’s hardly anything sweeter than enjoying obedience and the sweet bond of peace he gives when we love his people.
So, giving someone a piece of my mind? That makes less sense all the time. And if the Heavenly Father ever does some kind of brain cell inventory and I come up short, I don’t want it to be because I gave someone a piece of my mind. That would just be too embarrassing.
Now losing my mind—that’s something altogether different.
RHONDA RHEA / contributing columnist