I’m adding an item to our suit of armor, that’s not listed in the Ephesians passage. It was, however mentioned by Paul later in his letter to the Colossians, so maybe he won’t mind.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Col.3:12 NLT)
You’ve probably heard that saying, “Nice guys finish last.”
I’d like to suggest that that’s a lie. I’m not asking you to naively wonder into every situation unarmed. I am suggesting that the first plan of attack should be an open mind and a bit of compassion.
I like the word mercy.
Dictionary.com’s first definition says:
Mercy: compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence:
Have mercy on the poor sinner.
What would happen to our lives, our relationships, even our souls if we approached every conflict with mercy. Is it possible to step into someone else’s shoes; even if it’s just in our imaginations?
I’d like to add a tool to our armor wardrobe, and that is a torch.
Things may look dark. The path may be unclear.
I understand, there are times when we need to stand our ground. There are situations when the right words must be said. Kindness and mercy may not ultimately be the only course of action.
But it should be the first.
Our fear and anger darken every conflict. A light of empathy and Love should go before us. Look at your “enemy” as a real person with struggles of their own. There is a reason for their actions, and it probably comes from fear or pain. We have more in common than we think.
The things that connect us are so much more powerful than the things that separate us.
Let’s rewrite that adage.
“Nice guys often have more peace.” “Nice guys are experts in conflict resolution.”
Here’s the best one:
Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Mt. 5:7 NKJV
“Nice guys are blessed of the Lord and forgiven their mistakes.”
Have a blessed day!
I Love you all!
p.s. I have one more installment left in this series. Pt. 10 will be an overview/conclusion. Stay tuned, and God bless!