As I write this article it is cold outside. It is brutally cold. When I walked our little pup this morning, in fact, it only took a few minutes before my facial hair had frozen. After getting into my vehicle to head toward the office I noticed it was 7 degrees. SEVEN DEGREES! We tend to become acutely aware of our environment when it is 7 degrees outside. Not only are there certain precautions we take before going out into such cold, but our senses are naturally heightened when we are in it. There is much at stake in such extremes—so much that it is unwise to be dismissive of the dangers.
Being people who are wise to the effects that the physical environment can have on us, how cognizant are we of the relational environment into which we enter every day? How proactive are we in preparing for what we may experience when we come into contact with others bthroughout our day? We bundle up to combat the cold, carry rain gear to minimize the effects of precipitation, and we dress light to take advantage of warmer temperatures. But do we prepare our hearts and our minds for what may come our way as we interact with our fellow human beings?
It is Jesus who said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Thus if our hearts are prepared, our words will follow suit. If we are serious about the purity of our hearts, we will be equipped for whatever we face from others in our daily lives. Most people we encounter in life we will encounter just one time. It is incumbent upon us to prime our hearts to respond to people in kind and loving ways. We never know what impact that single encounter may have on the other.
Whatever the “weather” is outside, we need to be ready for it.