September 27, 2021

Only a Second

 Devotion for the Week...

Paul is a Blue Jays fan, which means I spend a fair amount of time sitting and watching baseball games with him. Usually, when a batter is walked, they put their bat on the ground, then take off their batting gloves and shin guard and put them with the bat, before going to first base. Normally, they leave the bat, etc. there on the ground for the bat boy or bat girl to pick up, but occasionally the bat person reaches them before they're finished removing the gear, so they hand everything over to them. The other night, though, a player on the Minnesota Twins team caught my eye. He finished taking off his gear, gathered everything together and then waited a second for the bat person to reach him before handing everything to them. It was only a second, but the fact that he stood there waiting to pass his gear, rather than leaving it on the ground to be picked up, struck me as a kind gesture. To be clear, the players leaving their gear behind on the ground aren't being inconsiderate; that's actually what they're expected to do so the game keeps moving quickly. This one player's actions just felt extra considerate to me.

It's possible that moment only struck me because earlier in the week I had read Philippians 4:5, which says, "Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon." When I read the verse last week, the words considerate and all really hit home for me. 

Considerate means, "careful not to cause inconvenience or hurt to others" and for me it calls to mind the idea of thinking about the feelings and needs of other people before we speak or act. It also makes me think of small actions, like waiting a second to hand our gear to someone rather than leaving it for them to pick up off the ground. It's little things people might not consciously notice, but that leave an impression of kindness.

Being considerate also makes me think of the idea of living in community, in the sense of trying to make life better for everyone rather than just better for ourselves. It's the opposite of buying six packs of toilet paper to hoard for ourselves when there's fear of a shortage. 

As for the all in the verse...can I just say there's not a lot of wiggle room when we're told to be considerate in all we do? 'Be considerate whenever you're in a good mood' would be a lot easier to live up to. Or maybe 'be considerate when you've had enough sleep' or maybe the most important one 'be considerate when the other person isn't being rude.' But no, we're told to be considerate in all you do. 

Essentially, though, all that really means is that we are to make thinking of others a habit. Will there be times when being considerate is hard? Absolutely! But just a few verses after telling the Philippians to be considerate in all they did, he also wrote, "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength" (Philipians 4:13). We don't have to do it all in our own strength! The Holy Spirit will help us, if we will listen and follow His little nudges and suggestions.
Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do |
"Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do." What a revolution that could create in our society!

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