Inspiring Devotional

Be Kind!
"charity suffereth long, and is kind." 1 Corinthians 13:4

Most conflicts aren't caused by differences of opinion, but by lack of understanding. So why aren't we more understanding?

(1) Fear. William Penn said: "Never despise what you don't understand." Yet most of us do. Either we open our minds to a new idea and grow, or reject it and stay the same size. We compare what we don't understand, with what we think we do - like the all-wise folks who told Columbus the earth was flat and that he'd fall off the end. Harry Truman said: "When we understand the other fellow's viewpoint and what he's trying to do, nine times out of 10 he's just trying to do right."

(2) Self-centeredness. Somebody quipped: "There are two sides to every question - as long as it doesn't concern us personally." We grow up learning to put ourselves first. Ever play with a two-year-old? They choose the best toys for themselves and always insist on having their own way. When we grow up, our toys just cost more!

(3) Failure to appreciate differences. It takes more than one colour to make a rainbow. When you learn to appreciate the difference in people, you'll discover we all share the same hopes and fears. Two common problems are ?gift-envy' and ?gift-projection'. One happens when we compare our gifts with others and feel "less than". The other happens when we expect everybody else to feel equally passionate about what we're called to do. Listen: "There are different kinds of service...but it is the same Lord we are serving" (1Co 12:5 NLT).

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