I have been singing and playing piano in the church since I was very young. I remember as I started hitting those lovely teen years, my voice began to change. One Sunday, I was singing when my voice cracked. I remember just laughing at myself until the song was over, because I was so embarrassed I didn't know what else to do. From that point on, I decided I wasn't going to sing in the church anymore. Every time it was my turn for special music, I would play the piano instead. Years went by and I sang in several choirs at school, but had refused to step on that platform. Finally, my senior year, I got the courage to get up on that stage and sing. When the service was over, someone walked up to me and said how happy she was to hear me sing, and how she had really missed seeing me up there. Those kind words meant so much to me! I had been telling myself for years that no one wanted to hear me sing and that I was better off just walking away!
In Ephesians 4:32 the Bible says, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Those kind words from that one person caused a change in me. I became more confident and began to realize that I was refusing to use a gift that God blessed me with. Sure, I fail at times, and I get nervous. I make plenty of mistakes, but each time that I get on stage, I remember that all I can do is my best. I am there to minister to others and I have to just leave it in God's hands.
The world is filled with cruelty. We no longer care about neighbors, most of us don't even truly know them! We let whatever we think come out of our mouths without realizing what it could do to a person. What if that woman had walked up to me and said, "well, I sure wish you would never do that again"? Where would I be today? I probably would have gone down a completely different path in my life. Singing would definitely have not been a part of it. Words can either uplift a person or destroy them. We have all been there when someone has said something cruel and it crushed us. Let us be "kind and compassionate" to each other and remember that we are all imperfect. We also need to forgive each other when we have been offended. Showing compassion to those who have offended us, teaches them the love of Christ. Let's pray that God will begin to soften our hearts towards each other and that we will begin to encourage and uplift. Take a moment to tell your kids how wonderful they are, or tell your Pastor how much you appreciate him instead of always finding fault. Try to encourage and be kind to someone today. A smile and a kind word is the best place to start! And, if you have been cruel to someone, go to them and ask for forgiveness. Remember to think before you speak.
Proverbs 16:23 "The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips."