Reading this passage I'm reminded of a conversation I had with one of the youth group members today. The conversation went something like this.
"These two friends of ours just started dating. We all know it's not going to work out though."
This simple statement sparked a lot of different thoughts. But the main spark came from looking at me. How often have I said something similar about friends or co-workers? Said something like
"I really like them, but they just have no common sense sometimes" or "That project is going to fail, I just know it"
When I heard the words this time I was reminded of a different attitude I had in high school. One I have lost a little but have been regaining recently. I began to wonder, why am I worrying about how bad something will be? Why don't I help support it with my own gifts?
So I posed the question right back at the youth. Why are you and your friends already thinking about when and how the relationship will end? Wouldn't it be better to support them in their relationship to the best of your abilities? Then if it ends you can continue to support them as individuals?
Just posing this challenge made me feel pretty good and has sparked a change within myself. Reading this passage this afternoon only deepens that change. Whether our friends have failings or not we should always support them and go a step further by building them up. We should also extend the same courtesy to strangers. Making someone else feel good will bring a smile to their face and will always build you up inside.
Next time I begin to think negatively, I'll remember this passage. Remember that I can please God and make myself shine inside by sharing a kind word and praising someone else.