Have you ever known someone thought they were better than you? Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of someone making it known to you (without clear words, but with much clearer body language, passive agressive words and tones, and the like) that they think they are better than you?
I think it is one of the hardest things in the world to do, and one of the most Godly things in the world to do… the most Christlike, to not only abstain from self-defense and self-justification, but to actively seek to bring out the best in someone who has made that sentiment clearly known.
I was musing, the other day, about how much easier it is to treat others well when you know you are loved well. Like you feel that you can take more risks and be more vulnerable to go out of your way to reach out to someone… whom you know is going to be hard to reach out to, when you KNOW that you are loved for who you are…
It’s like you don’t have to worry that their rejection of your or condemnation, or apparent “superiority” will shake your identity in the least, because you have such certainty and security in *WHO YOU ARE*… in who the One who loves you so well sees you to be!
And so, it was my delight today, a simple delight, to watch you return the belittling, condescending, sarcastic unkindness, not only with a gentle and quiet strength, but that in the conversation that ensued, I watched you deliberately seeking to bring out the best in the individual, giving him opportunities to demonstrate what he obviously felt were his strengths.
You didn’t do this in any kind of tone that communicated, “well if you think you’re so good, then why don’t you *show* us”, but rather, you wanted this person to feel loved and affirmed, you wanted him to feel good about himself, because you picked up on the very thing which most of us miss while we are tending to our wounds…
and that is that his smug demeanor is really a mask for his insecurity. So you sought out to affirm the very thing in him which most of us would instinctively seek to expose as weakness.
Thank you for this Christlike portrayal of graciousness!
Thank you for finding your identity so firmly rooted in the truth of how Christ sees you, and who HE says you are!
May you always find the immeasurable strength of Christ’s love burning fiercely for you! May your knowledge of who you are in Him never fade! May his love heal every wound, from condescension, and otherwise, as you seek to love others! and may you find yourself surrounded by people who seek to bring out the strengths in you!