Paul mailed a letter from prison to his friends in Ephesus (which is modern day Turkey). Previously, he had been arrested for no other reason than publicly expressing his beliefs. He could have gotten hung up on injustice and unfair treatment. Instead, the first thing Paul wrote in his letter was this (Ephesus 4:2):
“Be completely humble and gentle;”
This morning as I was browsing the Internet, I listened to Tim McCraw’s rendition of “Humble and Kind”. The song lyrics got my attention, one phrase in particular:
“Bitterness keeps you from flying, always be humble and kind.”
In the comment section of this particular video clip Lessie Perreves wrote:
“Even though I’ve been raised on this whole rule the song proposes, I do get really bitter/salty sometimes. Whenever that happens, I listen to this. It helps me feel better and helps remind me no one likes a bitter jerk.”
God knows we go through some really bad situations sometimes. Dealing with our emotions as we are processing loss is our number one priority. Bitterness is not very attractive and actually adds to our existing problems because nobody wants to be in the presence of a “bitter jerk” as Lessie so rightly observes.
If we’re going through an awful experience we need to allow our hearts to be broken. As painful as it sounds and as counter intuitive as it seems, ultimately only a broken heart can be healed. A hardened heart on the other hand will continue to be stuck in trauma and won’t be able to heal.
It’s humbling to admit failure. It’s humbling to accept we’re broken and bruised. In our humility however always lies the kernel of hope that our weakness of today pours into our strength of tomorrow. Bad experiences can make us stronger and as a byproduct create empathy. Our newfound empathy will make us a better friend, parent, coworker, and spouse.
Let’s take it from Paul who has weathered quite a few storms: always be humble and gentle, my friend!