See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. 1 Thessalonians 5:15
My first gut reaction to this verse is, "Are you kidding me?" I'm sure I'm not alone in this dilemma. Show me a person who has perfected the turn-the-other-cheek talent and I will bow down to him or her.
Awareness of our vulnerability and imperfection is ever present in our daily dealings with other humans who are, presumably, in the same boat. There are people we meet everyday that are not hard to befriend, but then there are those whom we will never mesh with. Nothing personal, but just some people rub us the wrong way. I'm not certain whether this is because of a contemptuous familiarity with someone in our past or maybe just their mannerisms that irk us. I personally don't hold anyone accountable for something I struggle with each day.
An example is a neighbor of ours who refuses to put in place a litter box for their cats so the cats make our neighborhood their veritable toilet. It is a problem for me not only because I am deathly allergic to cats, but also because they ruin my garden I work so hard to maintain. But what irks me even more are the people who think this is ok and it is a small battle to be won. As much as I beg to differ, I realize that if I raise a stink with my neighbor, there will always be odd feelings, much worse that there is now. In a way, because of my frustration, I sometimes don't care if there was one. I just want the nasty habit to stop and the neighbors to be more neighborly and responsible animal owners. I could go on and on about my stance on the subject matter but I am being taught by God to be more patient with them.
To be perfectly honest, I have a really hard time doing this but perhaps if I have perfected the task, it will be less and less annoying and daunting to me and I can progress to a higher level of humanity.
I do realize that it won't happen overnight. That's just a pipe dream. However, baby steps will get me there, that much I know. My hopes are that when they see the change, they may be able to lift the smokescreen they've created and see themselves a lot clearer. But the change begins with me. Why? Because I am not the boss of anyone. Not the boss of my neighbors. I can only boss myself. Trying to MAKE them change is like a gerbil on an endless spinning wheel.
I do hope you can take this message and see yourself the same way and make that change.
Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!!