"As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience," Colossians 3:12
A few years ago at camp, one of my co-counselors was really bugging me. She wasn't picking up what I felt was her share, wasn't being with the girls as much as she should, and was emotionally distant. I began to grow very aggravated. I didn't understand why she was behaving this way. I liked her as a person and friend, but this was getting on my nerves.
I talked to one of my good friends about it. He told me words that I have come to realize have impacted me greatly through my life. He said, "Well, maybe she has something else going on in her life that you don't know about".
Over the next hours, I contemplated that greatly. Was this true? Maybe my friend had a point...
Later that day, my co-counselor came over to me and told me what was going on. She had found out some pretty dramatic news about her health. She was distant because she needed time to process what she had just learned.
How often do we do that? Make assumptions about the way someone is acting and why she or he is acting that way? How often do we allow our assumptions to dictate our actions? ... even oftentimes after strenuous amounts of thinking and praying?
This is something that I often think about... or I try to at least. What is going on in the mind of those closest to me, and why are they acting the way they are towards me? Do they mean it or is it simply an extension of another emotion they are feeling?
People are tricky. I don't understand them. I think it's funny that my two master degrees will be in theology and social work. As if I could ever master God or ever have a theology that isn't shifting and changing throughout time. And as if I could ever master knowing how to interact with people and systems in social work. People are always changing and unpredictable.
But one thing remains certain: humans are a complication of circumstances. My reactions to things are based on my past experiences, my situation at that moment, and morals and everything. Real people are not stagnant.
And so this is why I depend on Christ's mercy and upon his grace. Because I mess up. I say things I shouldn't. I react to friends how I shouldn't... and they to me the same.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.