La Junta UMC
La Junta UMC

“Easier Said Than Done!”               “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

If one thing is certain in this world, it is that we all make mistakes. 

I make mistakes, you make mistakes, the pope makes mistakes, the president makes mistakes-we all make mistakes.  We often hold others up to a higher standard than we may even hold ourselves.   Someone does something hurtful or mean and we immediately think, what a jerk!  We do something similar and we suddenly say “I’m only human, geez, cut me some slack!” Right?  Can I get an amen from the congregation?  What’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander…

Some of us make more mistakes than others and some of us do a better job of learning from our mistakes than others. 

Let me ask you, have you ever been wounded by a mistake someone made?  Something they did or perhaps said?

I would be shocked if you have never been upset, offended, hurt, or wounded by the actions of someone else.

Here’s another question, have you ever wounded someone by mistake by something you said or something you did?

Did you apologize or did you just let it go?  Did you feel bad or did you feel justified?

Our scripture reading today is reminding us that we must be kind and compassionate with each other.

More often than not, we have no idea what our pew neighbors are going through.  We may only see each other on Sunday mornings and occasionally around town.  Some of us come to church dealing with broken relationships, serious illnesses, addictions, serious financial struggles and burdens, mental illness, and a plethora of other struggles every single week. 

Be kind and compassionate with each other.  Give yourself grace but extend it to others as well.  Be a conduit of grace so that God’s grace, love, and mercy flows abundantly in you and through you.

The second part of this week’s scripture reading that is often more difficult is forgiveness.  It says forgive each other just as Christ forgave you.  Why should we forgive each other?  Even when what they said or did was so hurtful, mean, or disappointing? 

We forgive each other because Christ forgave us.  That’s the example and that’s the expectation.

To be clear, I don’t mean to imply it’s easy.  It also doesn’t mean we are excusing the behavior or accepting it as ok.  Forgiveness is a process in us and has nothing to do with the other person.  We actually have to be prepared for forgiveness in ourselves and the other person never apologizing, feeling bad, or acknowledging the hurt they have done.  Remember the old saying “not forgiving is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die”?  You may be holding onto something they let go of long ago or never even held onto at all.

I invite you this week to practice more kindness and compassion in your day to day interactions, including but not limited to, social media, difficult coworkers, challenging family members, and fellow community members. Above all though, make an effort to forgive.  Make space in your life to offer yourself forgiveness and those that hurt you with their actions and/or words. 

Remember Jesus hung on the cross and was near death when he used his remaining breath to utter “Forgive them father for they know not what they do!”  If Jesus prays this for you and I on the cross we put him on, what forgiveness can we offer each other?


Rev. Lou Ward


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La Junta United Methodist Church

601 San Juan Ave

La Junta, CO 81050


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