The passing of American hero, Senator, and patriot John McCain over the weekend brought heartfelt respects from leaders on both sides of the political aisle. What they all echoed was a fondness and respect for the man he was, even though they had disagreed — sometimes vociferously — throughout their lifetimes. While paying respects to the dead is a time honored and important tradition, the tragic irony of it is that those kind words were often lacking during the deceased’s life. Why do we wait until someone is gone before we honor, respect, or openly show love to them? Someone who made it his practice to always open his letters with warm salutations was Paul. Even though his letters to churches across the region were often to correct bad behavior or sternly instruct, he always treated his subjects with kindness and warmth. Take for instance his opening in Philippians, “I thank my God every time I remember you.” Regardless of our present feelings towards others, never delay until tomorrow what warmth you can show today. Today, speak life, love, and kindness to all you encounter, even if the message you must deliver afterwards is stern.
“I thank my God every time I remember you.” — Philippians 1:3 NIV