As we have been house hunting I have been reminded repeatedly that taste is a very personal matter. Though a few times I have had to bite my tongue when viewing a house with wild colours, I have managed to do so as I learnt a valuable lesson from my mum – the owners whose taste you question may later be a difficult customer. Let me explain – years ago my parents were selling their house. One couple who came to view were very free with their comments on the decor and layout – lots of ‘Oh, I wouldn’t have done that…’ where overheard, but mum gritted her teeth and smiled. That couple didn’t buy the house. A few years later mum was in a shoe shop and recognised the assistant as the judgemental house viewer. Mum tried on every single shoe in that shop in her size, sending the assisstant in and out of the store and then rejected them all. We are not sure if the lady recognised her but mum felt good!
Somehow whenever people differ with us in terms of taste we take it personally as if we ourselves, rather than the paint colour or wall paper were being rejected. But God has created so many different people and personalities so taste is bound to vary. If we are to have unity with the people in our lives and in the church we need to realise that we are different in many ways. Paul suggests that we need to clothe ourselves in a new way of doing things:
Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Instead of pointing differences and how people are strange we need to deal with each other with compassion, gentleness and kindness.
Kindness is such an underrated quality that seems to have fallen out of favour in our ever-man-for-himself world. With a bit of kindness we can appreciate that we are different and not be threatened by it. Have you dressed yourself in kindness today?