Be gentle with other people’s shortcomings1
Unless I take the words and character of God into my own life, there is little good in it. Of course, I want God’s gentleness, but I must not stop there. I must turn around and apply it among those with whom I am charged. Once, I received a detailed email from one of my residents. Admixed within it were many things, but I did not have to read it twice before I saw things I had not hoped to see.
Those things were a lot like the request James and John’s mother made of Christ2. In another place, while Jesus is leading his disciples to Jerusalem for his execution, he found his disciples bickering with similar goals. These were all “me-first” goals. Paul in one of his letters said, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to those of others.” Having learned these passages exist I try to live and interact with others this way. When others who claim Christ do not live generously, I become angry (and sad, but probably more angry than sad).
Maturity on my part demands a couple of things. First, I must not be surprised to find this in others, Christian or not. Second, I must not deny the truth of selfish motives. Third, I will do best to act as Jesus did, both in his earthly ministry and then in the visions he gave John. It is common now to mock the phrase “What would Jesus do?” That some mock it, does not invalidate it. It is a question that must lead to another. “Will I do what Jesus did?”