Lessons from the Spectrum
Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
A few weeks ago my son who is on the autism spectrum experienced some hard things because of another child. I was mad, angry, and sad all at the same time. I didn’t understand why someone needed to treat him wrongly, and I was mad that it happened. He has dealt with a tremendous amount in his life, including seizures and autism and I was angry that he was having to deal with this too. I was definitely not happy with the other child.
Two days after the incident however my son was playing with this other child. I heard about it and I asked him that night “do you like him, Isaac?” And with that grin on his face and happy inflection in his voice he said, “YES!” They played together later as well. I had to swallow my anger and frankly my pride. I was mad and angry. Isaac was kind and forgiving. One was Christ like, and the other much like the world.
We as followers of Jesus are called to be people of forgiveness, not to just give lip service to it, but to give life service to it. To forgive other people and love other people. To be kind to people and even if they do us wrong to be quick to put it behind us and love them.
My son is very tenderhearted, very kind and very forgiving. I try to teach him things everyday, but he has already taught me more than I could ever teach him. Even as I write this he was walking through the house singing, “I would do anything for my friends,” and I know that he would.
We are called to do the same. We are to love one another, be kind to one another, and forgive one another. After all the world will know that we are Christians by our love. Peter picks up on that theme in 1 Peter 2 when he tells the church, “This is the will of God, that by doing good you should silence the ignorance of foolish people.” Part of what it means to do good is to love other people, to be kind to other people, and to forgive other people. When we do those things we say to the world we are different. Jesus has changed us, He has transformed our hearts. He loves us so now we love others. We are supposed to love even when we are hurt, we are supposed to be kind even when others aren’t and we are supposed to forgive. Why? Because that is what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. He forgave us through His sacrifice on the cross, now may we put that forgiveness into practice and live it out for the glory of God.