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"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another." Romans 12:10
In a page taken from a magazine a lot of years ago when I was in college, I found this story again with a modern application that I now put on it: "Bang! Slam! Every time any one went in or out of the front door, they had to shut it with such force as to disturb the entire household. It made Grandma drop stitches in her knitting, awakened Junior from his nap and gave Aunt Nellie a headache. Then Uncle Jim came to see us, and after hearing the door bang only twice he jumped to his feet saying, 'Fred, my boy, get me your mothers oil can. He applied a drop of lubrication to the catch and worked the door back an forth a few times. What a change. No longer was it necessary to slam the door; it now closed with ease. “Always try oil,” my uncle said, “it makes things work smoothly.” People, as well as locks, need oiling. And a good way to preserve peace and quietness is to use the oil of kindness.
In our family relationships, in our church life and at work, how many times are situations handled brusquely and forcibly. As a result, the whole household is disturbed. How much better to drop in the "oil of kindness." Many use a sledge hammer when they should be using the oilcan. The next time you are faced with stubbornness in another member of your family, are upset by the inconsiderate action of a fellow worker, or are offended by some other brother or sister in the Lord, remember the "oil of kindness." With a warm heart and a sympathetic and understanding spirit, try the lubrication of Christian love. Then, "in honor preferring one another," you will eliminate a lot of unnecessary friction.
If things are not going smoothly today, why not try "a drop of oil"?
Louis Abel is pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.