People are all over the map. When it comes to church, some are ready to fully return and completely engage. While others are more comfortable with a commitment to watch church online. There are some who believe they have a right to refuse to wear masks, while others are committed mask wearers and exercise extreme caution in public. No matter where you find yourself on this map, we can agree that we live in a very divided time in our country where strong feelings abound. This raises an important question, how can we be gracious to others during this unique season? Here are a few things we must do.
Be intentional about connecting. From the beginning of creation, God made it clear that we were created for fellowship. As our normal church activities begin to resume, we must fight “busyness” and maintain the “people” priority. What does this mean? It means we choose people over tasks and connecting with our friends and family must be an essential practice of our Christian faith.
Love with your attitude. How often do we hear the words “I love you” but it is not demonstrated in the attitude of the person saying those words. Our love for others should not be a chore or a task, it should be genuine and visible. Loving with your attitude means you don’t just do “the right thing”, but you do the right thing, the right way, with a loving attitude. This approach is far reaching and demonstrates a Godly love to those around us.
Win others with patience. Many families are processing a lot right now. Balancing virtual school, a second or third job, health issues or in some cases the loss of a loved one. 2020 has been an overwhelming year for many people, and winning them over with patience and kindness could be just what the doctor ordered. Ephesians 4:2 says, “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” Patiently meeting the needs of others is gracious and shines the bright light of His love into the lives of those who need it most.
We have not experienced a year like this before in our lifetime. It is all new and it’s challenging. We will make mistakes. We will hurt feelings or not meet someone’s expectations. But we also have many opportunities to point people to Christ and to encourage them in an extremely unstable time. Keep pushing forward. Keep showing Christ’s love. Be gracious, and keep praying for God to make Himself known in your life and in the lives of others.