“For we know in part, and we prophecy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know, even as also I am known.”
I have been asked to write about my most important life lesson. I cannot help but begin with the fact that all knowledge on this earth is partial. We can know nothing absolutely except for the Word of God. So when I am asked to tell the greatest lesson I have learned in life I must ask myself, what do I truly know? I know only the Word of God. Therefore, all that I really know is of the Bible, and my greatest life lesson is something that is contained in the Bible.
Growing up I remember adults brushing me off. Around age nine I wanted to have in depth conversations with people who were older. They wouldn’t listen though. I remember older friends going off and closing the door for a private conversation about “important things” when I was 12. I was just too young for grown up things. But I can remember thinking, “If they would only talk to me, maybe they would know a fraction of the thoughts in my head and not think of me as so young and stupid.”
The older I have grown, the more I realize that everyone should be treated with honor and respect whether we think they deserve it or not. Those who treat others without respect deserve none, but God calls us not to repay evil for evil. (1 Peter 3:9) Matthew 7:12 also states, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus is telling us that the greatest lesson He teaches us is to treat each other with kindness.
So many times I find myself at odds with the opinions of others. With some people that I know if I make a statement that they disagree with I meet immediately with their harsh condescension. In conversation they never hesitate to sharply cut me off and beat me over the head with their religious answer refuting my statement. They don’t even stop to realize that nine out of ten times they misunderstood what I said completely. From all of this I have learned how important it is to be gentle with others. Sometimes we meet people who say things we disagree with, but just as often, we misunderstand what people are saying. “A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15: 1 KJV)
From all these experiences and infinitely more that I cannot even remember, I have learned that kindness is the only way. If I were to die today I would hope that people would remember me as gentle, someone who didn’t return evil for evil, someone soft-spoken, and someone who treated others as I would wish to be treated. For the legacy that I will leave, for the children I hope to have, I want to show that Matthew 7:12 is the true and only way to live a righteous and Godly life.