— Author Unknown
A 91-year-old woman died after living a very long dignified life. When she met God, she asked Him something that had bothered her for a very long time.
“If man was created in God’s image, and if all men are created equal, why do people treat each other so badly?”
God replied that each person who enters our life has a unique lesson to teach us. It is only through these lessons that we learn about life, people and our relationship with God.
The woman seemed confused, so God began to explain:
“When someone lies to you, it teaches you that things are not always what they seem. The truth is often far beneath the surface. Look beyond the masks people wear if you want to know what is in their hearts. Remove your own masks to let people know who you really are.
“When someone steals from you, it teaches you that nothing is forever. Always appreciate what you have. You never know when you might lose it. Never take your friends or family for granted, because today, and sometimes only this very moment, is the only guarantee you may have.
“When someone inflicts injury upon you, it teaches you that the human state is a very fragile one. Protect and take care of your body as best as you can; it’s the one thing that you are sure to have your entire life.
“When someone mocks you, it teaches you that no two people are alike. When you encounter people who are different than you, do not judge them by how they look or act; instead, look for something good that is in their hearts.
“When someone breaks your heart, it teaches you that loving someone does not always mean that the person will love you back. But don’t turn your back on love, because when you find the right person, the joy that one person brings you will make up for all of your past hurts—times a thousand fold.
“When someone holds a grudge against you, it teaches you that everyone makes mistakes. When you are wronged, the most virtuous thing you can do is forgive the offender without pretense. Forgiving those who have hurt us is often the most difficult and painful of life’s experiences, but it is also the most courageous thing a person can do.
“When a loved one is unfaithful to you, it teaches you that resisting temptation is man’s greatest challenge. Be vigilant in your resistance against all temptations. By doing so, you will be rewarded with an enduring sense of satisfaction far greater than the temporary pleasure by which you were tempted.
“When someone cheats you, it teaches you that greed is the root of all evil. Aspire to make your dreams come true, no matter how lofty they may be and do not feel guilty about your success. But, never let an obsession with achieving your goals lead you to engage in malevolent activities.
“When someone ridicules you, it teaches you that nobody is perfect. Accept people for their merits and be tolerant of their flaws. Do not ever reject someone for imperfections over which they have no control.”
Upon hearing the Lord’s wisdom, the old woman became concerned that there are no lessons to be learned from man’s good deeds. God replied that man’s capacity to love is the greatest gift he has been given. Each act of love and kindness done also teaches a lesson.
The woman’s curiosity deepened. God once again explained:
“When someone loves us, it teaches us love, kindness, charity, honesty, humility, forgiveness, acceptance; and, all of these can counteract evil in the world. Every good deed can overshadow an evil deed. Man can make the choice between good and evil; but because the lessons of love are not taught often enough, the choice to do evil is too often chosen.
“When you enter someone’s life, whether by plan, chance or coincidence, consider what your lesson will be. Will you teach love or a harsh lesson of reality? When you die, will your life have resulted in more loving or more hurting? More comfort or more pain? More joy or more sadness?
“Each one of us has the power over the balance of the love in the world. Use it wisely!”
Don’t miss an opportunity to nudge the world’s scale for right and wrong with love—in the right direction!
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:14 ESV
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NASB