When I feel my heart harden, with huffish thoughts toward someone swirling round and round, I desperately need God’s Spirit to bring me up short. When I’m caring more for my own agenda, irritated at what I perceive as arrogance in the person thwarting my plans, I need the Lord to convict me of the sulky arrogance in my own heart. I need Him to bring me to repentance for my own lack of tenderness toward that very person; to expose my firmly-entrenched belief that I’m better and that I deserve better treatment. I need Him to deeply persuade me of my lack — lack of deservedness, lack of loveliness, lack of humility. And I need to be astounded at His great mercy toward inept me; that His grace toward me is miraculous.
“The humility that only awe of God can produce in my heart produces tenderness toward people who need the same grace. No one gives grace better than a person who is deeply persuaded that he needs it himself and receives it from Christ. This tenderness makes me gracious, gentle, patient, understanding, and hopeful in the face of others’ sin, while never compromising God’s holy call. It protects me from deadly assessments like, “I can’t believe you would do such a thing,” which tell me I’m essentially different from everyone else. It’s hard to bring the gospel to people when you’re looking down your nose at them.” (Paul Tripp)
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”