Read Colossians 3:12
12 As, therefore, God’s picked representatives of the new humanity, purified and beloved of God himself, be merciful in action, kindly in heart, humble in mind. (JBP)
It is rather sad that many of the top-rating TV programs focus on people being unkind to one another. Conflict and even cruelty is encouraged to ensure people stay tuned. Makes us wonder if we have come all that far from the days of the gladiators in Rome.
While we may not actually approve of that behaviour, we are fascinated by it. While we may not actually practise that behaviour, we seem to enjoy watching other so behave. It reminds us that there is a streak of unkindness and discourtesy present in our society. We are in an age of entitlement where my own needs and wants are paramount. Where I crave attention and approval irrespective of the impact I have on others.
It is light years away from the biblical model set out for us in our text today. Followers of Jesus are meant to show the rest of the world what real life and real relationships are all about. We are to point to a better way, beyond shallow egotism and pettiness.
Very few of us can ‘change the world’. Most of us won’t hit the headlines. All we can hope to do is cultivate these qualities of the Holy Spirit and so make some difference to our own small worlds. And show the world that rather than feed on a junk-food diet of nastiness, we can develop an appetite for kindness and courtesy.
That won’t result in high TV ratings, but it might just lead to a more compassionate society.