Living on a farm teaches lessons of hard work, life, love and loss. It can be rewarding and cruel all at the same time. I guess that's true wherever we are. The way we react depends on our journey.
A recent Facebook post was so inspiring with many people noticing "Merry Christmas!" greetings all around. I've seen people going out of their way to bring blessings to others by their words and actions. Sometimes even by the hiding and sharing of a simple painted rock.
We have a lunch bunch that meets together once per month. Together we share joyful stories of our work, our family, our grandkids and our struggles. We pray together and for each other. The gifts we receive go far beyond the packages we exchange at Christmastime.
Thank you to my family and friends who continue to be part of my blessings. When we choose to spread love and joy we bless others who may really need it. And in doing so we also bless ourselves.
Some people don't always share their burdens with others. They walk around with a smile and others may never know when they are facing the hardest times in their life. Instead of being sad or angry at the situation, they smile and show love to others and bless others. By lifting the spirits of others, they also lift their own. God bless them.
Sadly, there are people who make efforts to be cruel. By dashing the spirits of others, they try to lift their own. Does it work? I don't think so.
I'm sure they are on a journey we know nothing about, but instead of making themselves feel better by spreading love and joy, they hurt others, maybe because they hurt. I will pray for them.
I will never understand why, but someone I know went out of their way to make another person feel bad. And when I say they went out of their way, it really was. I am very supportive of the Christian actions taken to gently keep the cruel behavior at bay.
We all are recipients of hurtful actions. Maybe it's a Facebook post, a text message or an email. It's so easy to "hurt and run" when you aren't face to face with someone.
As recipients, our knee jerk reaction to this ugliness is to be angry and devise ways to get them back. But instead, we should be a Christian example of how to react. It isn't easy, and sometimes we fail.
Being forgiving is very important and overlooking an offense shows great strength.
But what if we notice the same people repeatedly making efforts to hurt others?
Should we continue to overlook it? Should we pretend it doesn't bother us? Should we say something to them? Or should we avoid them?
Doing nothing says "what you did is ok." Doing nothing is enabling more of the same.
The Bible says to turn the other cheek. I will whenever I can. It also says to restore people gently. Sometimes they make us mad, and gentle is not the easiest for us. That is why it is good for us to take time to pray about it, and think about it before we react. God will provide a way to restore them if they are meant to be in our lives. But sometimes He also shows us the people who don't belong in our lives. Pray for them anyway.