(The Lord's servant) must be kind toward all, a good and patient teacher. 2nd Timothy 2:24a.
While training for an office job at our local hospital, I made a mistake. When I realized it and apologized to the girl who was training me, her immediate response was, "Oh, that's ok. You'll get it right the next time."
I was reminded of that day when I recently witnessed a co-worker being reprimanded. She had made a mistake and it was pointed out to her in no uncertain terms that it had better never happen again.
Although my first experience was nearly thirty years ago, I can still see my co-worker's kind, uncondemning face. Her reaction and her remark made an indelible impression on me, not to mention the confidence it gave me that I would be successful in my new job.
As I read Paul's words to Timothy, I compare my two personal experiences and have to ask myself which of the two trainers I most resemble in my daily life. When we claim the title "Christian," from that moment forward we represent Christ in all that we do and say. We commit to living the Word in James 2:8b: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." As mortals, we are prone to failure. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can do it.
Father God, help us in all that we do and say to reflect You, the Lord of Love. Amen.