day 2908: Tenderness

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
As part of one of the Boards I serve on, I participated in a three-part (6 hour) online Diversity and Inclusion Training.  It turned out to be one of the highlights of 2020 for me.  I learned a lot about what is going on around me and also about myself.  At one point, I shared with the Zoom group about my upbringing, which was not easy.  Afterwards, I received an email from one of the other participants who wrote to me this, “This is tender, tender territory. It’s a lot. And it is necessary.”  She was right and the word, “Tender” stuck with me.  There is tender territory all around us.  Every person we work with has a tender spot that we may or may not know what it is, until it is touched. It is then we see emotions erupt, which we aren’t usually prepared to receive.  It is our responsibility to do our best to be sensitive to this tender territory and how do we do that?  We do it by being an example of and demonstrating tenderness.
Are we wondering how to be tenderhearted?  We can be that by starting with being kind and then following it up by being forgiving.  How much better we all could be if we just start with being kind daily and when others make mistakes or doing something to us that seems unfair, that we be forgiving to them.  These are times when kindness, tenderheartedness and forgiveness is not the norm, so if we demonstrate these characteristics, we will stand out positively to others around us.  But you might be saying to yourself right now, “Sure, that’s really good, but how can I consistently do that?”  The lesson in Ephesians tells us how.  We can be all that we are called to be by remembering that we can do so because Christ has personally forgiven us.  If we go back to that basic premise, then how can we not be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving? To try to be anything less is ignoring the forgiveness we have been given.
Reference: Ephesians 4:32 (New Living Translation)