“Try a Little Tenderness”

try-a-little-tenderness

Otis Redding sang it:

Oh she may be weary
Them young girls they do get wearied…”

Yes, they do. Old girls, too. Oh, yeah, and old men. Life in a fallen world can wear you out. Most of us have no clue what those around us are going through, so it is always a good rule of thumb to “try a little tenderness.”

Henry David Thoreau was a goofball (in more ways than one), but when he said that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” I think he may have stumbled upon truth. Ever since Adam and Eve thought that they had a better idea, mankind has lived with sickness, want, hatred, depression, mental illness, broken relationships, grief, pain, anxiety, and eventually, death. This is one of the reasons why worshiping with God’s people on His day is so important.

In God’s house you are reminded of the grace of God Sunday in and Sunday out. And not just the grace that brought you to repentance and life, and not just the grace that will one day grant you entrance into the new heavens and the new earth, but the grace that keeps you upright when you “get wearied.” On Sunday you gather with people who, just like you, are in need of hearing about God’s grace, and in need of coming to the realization that they are not alone as they struggle. As we are tender with one another, God uses us to make that journey a little easier both for the giver and the receiver of that tenderness.

Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said it well in Romans 12:15-21:

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Or as Otis sang, “try a little tenderness.”

 

 

Advertisements

“It’s time to grow up!”

grow-up

 

 

 

As I peruse Facebook and the network news I am mystified by the idiocy that I see played out before me: People breaking windows (not their own, mind you), attacking others, burning cars, and various and sundry other acts of stupidity, and I might add, evil; all because of the results of a Presidential election. This just doesn’t make sense to me.

I have two sisters, and I don’t know for sure (my Dad was really big on that whole “secret ballot” principle), but my guess is that the three of us all voted for a different candidate in this election. And, guess what: We haven’t unfriended each other on Facebook, we still love each other (and even like each other), we haven’t called each other names, they haven’t thrown a brick threw my window, I didn’t yank one of their grand-kids out of a car and beat him senseless, etc. We just went on with our lives. Just the way we did four years ago, and eight years ago, and 12 years ago,…well, you get my drift.

America, it is time to grow up.