I recently read a story about a man who attended a worship service with his wife for the first time. He forgot to switch off his phone and it unfortunately rang during the opening prayer. More unfortunately, the preacher scolded him. Even worse, the members admonished him after the service for interrupting the silence. As if that wasn’t enough, his wife lectured him for his carelessness for the entirety of the car ride home! His shame, embarrassment, and humiliation were palpable.
Later that evening, the same man went to a bar. He was still nervous and trembling. He accidentally spilled his drink on the table. To his surprise, waiter apologized and gave him a napkin to clean himself up. The Janitor came and mopped the floor around him. The female manager even offered him a complimentary drink! She also hugged and encouraged him saying, “Don’t worry man. Who doesn’t make mistakes?” He hasn’t stopped partitioning the bar since then.
Here’s the point: Sometimes our attitudes as believers drive others away from God. You can (and will!) make a difference by the way that you treat people. Especially when they make mistakes.
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
– Colossians 3:13 NLT