When I shop, I purposely do not choose items that require special handling. Many a beautiful garment has remained on the rack because it would require dry cleaning, handwashing, drip dry, low heat, no iron, and on and on. I know myself well enough to know that I will eventually forget and toss my “dry clean only” sweater in the washer or my hand wash hang-to-dry item in the dryer, and it will be game over. Not to mention, I just don’t like to think about it. I like my clothes to be wash and wear. I like my “living in” clothes to not require special attention and to know that when I retrieve them from the dryer, they will still fit like they did when they went in. These clothes are easy and dependable. Special handling can be exhausting so I avoid it. Problem solved.
As I was contemplating my wash and wear philosophy on clothes (and wondering if I’m just plain lazy), it led me to ponder what kind of a person I am and more specifically what kind of a friend and what kind of a Christian. I have spent the better part of my life (and especially my older years) praying against the spirit of offense. It’s a real struggle for me. I have always been prone to getting my feelings hurt and getting offended easily, even while knowing that being offended is a choice. And it’s exhausting. I have also had friends that tend to take offense easily, and I am sure if I were to ask them, they would agree that it’s exhausting (after they got done being offended that I implied they get offended easily). What it comes down to, is that those of us who are prone to hurt feelings and offense require special handling.
I have concluded that I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to require special handling and those times when I do, the only place I should turn is to Jesus. He says come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). Jesus will provide the special handling that we need so that we can live in a restful, peaceful, and loving state towards others. Jesus will deal with those situations and people which are purposed to cause offense. We don’t need to stew and seek vindication. We need to let it bounce off us and right back to Jesus. We need to let it run through the laundry cycle without letting it affect us so that we can be the comfortable wash and wear people we were intended to be.
Funny thing, nowhere on the list of the Fruits of the Spirit do I see “easily hurt and offended”. No, it’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that will make us good, comfortable wash and wear friends and most of all the best reflections of Jesus.
What’s on your care tag?
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
*For more encouraging devotionals by this author visit www.lisagallimore.com