The Most Important Thing
By Eli Stutzman
September 1, 2010
Over the years, we have seen many instances of people vying over who is right or who is wrong. Now of course we all want to be right and win the argument. To prove our ‘rightness' we can quote the people of old, wise people of today and scripture to no end.
Scripture is good if used properly. Too often though, love is lacking. Not that warm fuzzy feeling, but the act of caring and respecting another's feelings. When our feelings get hurt, our reaction is to hurt back so they will know how unkind they were.
What did the apostle Paul have to say about this?
I know we understand that we are to provide food, shelter and clothing for our families. Is that all that is needed? For some reason when I grew up I believed my feelings were unimportant. Now that I am older, I know that is not true. Feelings drive so much more than I ever thought when I was young. Love has to consider the feelings of others. When you hurt someone's feelings they will often cause trouble.
Many decisions are made on a "feeling". Before you married your wife, did you know all about her? I know I didn't. Many times we don't have all the facts, and we depend on feelings. Often when we make major decisions we do so based on feelings. And that can be good if we have healthy emotions. To maintain healthy emotions, we need to forgive and offer apologies when needed. Love says to consider others, even children. Children need to be taught this as well.
1 Corintians 13 says; Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Even though the rest of your life is all in order, missing love (charity) makes it useless. The reason I write about feelings and love in the same article is because if we lack love, we won't care about other people's feelings.
Recently I heard about an encounter between two young boys at our camp; I have changed their names. Bill came running to his counselor and said "John and I were playing tether ball and I happened to hit his face with the ball. Then he came over and punched me in the face". I doubt this is the whole story, because a lot may have happened in that short time span between the first and last part. This was an accident, of course. How would you handle this?
So I told the counselor that there is a lot to learn in life for these children. It depends on whether Bill apologized quickly or laughed at the incident. Maybe he did nothing. Knowing that people have feelings is very important if we are to get along in life. If you have love, you will consider others as important as yourself.
The feeling that drove John to punch his friends in the face was obviously anger. When an incident like this occurs, we all, even children need to deal with it quickly, Showing concern, causes anger to go away. Showing disdain, such as laughing will raise anger quickly.
Because I was not there, I don't know how it all came about. This I do know; love causes me to consider others. Teach your children how to handle such incidents and you will do them a great favor.
Now we know we can't always avoid hurting the feelings of other people. Circumstances and misunderstandings will sometimes cause us to be on the receiving end of someone's temper.
Practice love and you will be able to work it out. Remember, a soft answer turns away wrath.
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