by Tammy Phillips
April 10, 2023 (Originally posted September 24, 2021)
“Finally, all [of you be] of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, [be] tenderhearted, [be] courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9 NKJV)
Until Jesus set me straight a few years ago, my motto was like many others, “You do you and I’ll do me.” I had a very small group of friends. I liked it that way and believed the small circle was all I needed. I did not let people in because, in general, I did not trust people. Jesus welcomed and loved all. He provided me with a little, transformative, attitude adjustment. He opened and expanded my circle with 1 Peter 3:8-9, we are called to:
Be like minded and be together in understanding.
Have compassion for one another and have a “fellow-feeling.”
Love as brothers. Be friendly, like a brother.
Be tenderhearted. Have a heart full of mercy and kindness.
Be courteous. Be humble minded and friendly of mind.
Don’t return evil for evil. When you really want to slap, don’t slap back.
Be a blessing. Give a good word.
These were and are learning points for my attitude alignment. I wish I could say I have aced every test when it comes to these lessons, not true. They were and are goals but not always achieved! I am embracing this word from the Lord. Now, I welcome new people into my world instead of having the “you do you and I’ll do me” attitude.
At the time, I had only known Kirsten Licari for six months, but because of our husband’s professions, our lives intertwined often. One night, Kris and I had dinner at the Licari’s home. She not only had lemons on the table, but also perfectly cut wedges of lime. I know you are thinking, so what? I do not drink beer, wine, alcohol, nor sodas. My drink of choice is ice, cold, refreshing water with lime. At some point, Kirsten took note that I liked limes. She chose to bless me with a simple gesture from her tender heart that spoke “good words” to me. What did her blessing say to me? “You are welcome here. I am personally interested in what is important to you. I hear you. I paid attention. I care.” Yes, I heard all that from the small plate of lime wedges. Kirsten exemplifies the person spoken of in 1 Peter 3:8-9. I have come to know her as one of the kindest humans that I have ever met. There are people who have been around me all my adult life that might not have recognized, nor cared about by affinity for limes. She did and it blessed me. To this day, she still has lime at her home every time that I go for dinner.
Little things do mean a lot, positively and negatively. We will never know the pain inflicted by one selfish, manipulative, nasty, ungracious act. However, I have found small, gracious gestures like a smile, a hug, an opened door, a listening ear, an encouraging word, or a simple act of kindness can turn someone’s day around.
I enCOURAGE you to prepare “a small plate of lime wedges” for someone. Be compassionate. Have that “fellow-feeling” for someone who is hurting. Share brotherly love. Be tender hearted and courteous. If someone is short with you, maybe do not be short back. (I hate to even write those words because you know what is headed my way, a short, unkind person.) If someone is unkind, be a blessing! Remember, we are called to be a blessing, so that we may also inherit a blessing. Give someone a good word that needs a good word. Share a lime!
One thought on “BE A BLESSING AND “SHARE A LIME””
Love the lime illustration. Sometimes it is hard to be nice to someone who isn’t nice, has hurt me, has used me, hasn’t been kind or gracious to me, hasn’t been loving to me, hasn’t shown me mercy. I pray I can return kindness, gentleness, grace, love, mercy to those people. If my life is to be like Jesus, I must. That’s when He accounts it unto me as righteousness.
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