Yesterday, a big fat rabbit was eating some of my tomatoes. As I was washing dishes after dinner, my husband, Jim, came walking through the kitchen with a rifle in his hand. I looked up and asked where he was going. He told me the rabbit was in the garden and he was going to shoot the rabbit! I immediately said, “NO!” “Please don’t shoot the rabbit, just shoo him away.” Jim assured me the rabbit would continue to come back.
I thought about the rabbit and decided I had plenty of tomatoes for all of us. I did not want Jim to shoot the rabbit. While this means I may find more veggies on the ground with bites out of them, the tomatoes are just not as important to me as that adorable little rabbit. After all, it may be a mommy, it might have babies, and it is really cute!
This morning my Bible reading was in Romans. Paul was giving instructions on how to live with each other. Let me share a couple verses with you.
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” – Romans 12:10
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.” – Romans 12:17
“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” – Romans 12:18
Ministry means working with people. Whenever we work with people we will find ourselves in the position of sharing, changing, disagreeing, forgiving and learning.
If I am willing to forgive a rabbit and share my garden with it, how much more should I be willing to forgive my brothers and sisters in Christ? Yes, they sometimes take from me what I do not want to give. It seems they can sneak around when I am not looking and take a bite out of me. What do I do? Avoid them, talk about them, cut them out of my life, or embrace their presence?
Paul knew it would not be easy. He actually used the words, “if it is possible”, but as I get ready to use those words as an excuse I am reminded that God’s word says, “With God All Things Are Possible.”