Ephesians 4:31-32

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Attention, Shoppers!

For some, grocery shopping is now a full-contact, competitive endeavor. Walking through grocery store aisles, with an unfulfilled shopping list, has become a challenge in recent weeks. The empty shelves remind us how much we take for granted. They look like pictures we have seen from other countries where shortages are an ongoing fact of life. However, we intellectually know the shelves will get replenished.

And then it happens … we find something on our list that is not available. An empty shelf and a lonely price tag serve as a memorial to our needed product. How could this be?

At first, we experience surprise and disbelief: What’s wrong with this store? Then we realize it is not the store’s fault. People are stocking up on supplies and buying more than normal.

Why are they doing this? We get angry and rage builds up inside of us. If we all just continue to buy groceries at the same rate as before, there should be enough to go around for everybody. What is wrong with these idiots? Malice starts to form within us towards people we have never met.

The verses from Ephesians remind us to avoid the traps of anger, rage, malice, etc.  These emotions only bring us down and will not improve the situation. Our inconvenience at the grocery store pales in comparison to Christ’s sacrifice for us, and we were forgiven. Let us forgive those who believe they must stock up on supplies for their family.

It easy to be kind and compassionate when things are going well and life is good. Forgiving others requires relatively little effort when we are not in need. But what happens to us when things get a bit off-kilter? Are we always living the love of Christ in God’s eyes?

— Greg Kerfoot


Prayer: Grant us quiet minds and patient hearts, O Lord, especially when frustration builds that we may be true to you and to your Spirit within us.

To ponder: What makes you go off-kilter?