The clash of titans culminated in one final test of skill. In a heated debate, the wind and sun quarreled over who was the most powerful. This test would determine once and for all which would reign as Supreme over the earth. The wind scanned the surface of the earth and spotted a man emerging from his vehicle. He was wearing a jacket. The wind said, “I bet I can blow so hard that the man removes his jacket.” With that, it sent a strong gale which nearly blew the man away. As the gust continued, the man buttoned up his jacket and tightened its collar around his neck. For all of its efforts, the wind failed to produce the desired result.

Now it was the sun’s turn. Without any commotion, it began to shine with a steady brightness and intensity. Beads of sweat began to appear on the man’s forehead. He began to loosen his jacket until he had completely unbuttoned it. The sun kept shining. Ultimately, the man removed his jacket altogether. The sun had succeeded.

By its constant light and warmth, the sun could do what the harsh wind could not. In the same way, warm, radiant beams of love and kindness are more effective than chilling gales of ostracism or retaliation in penetrating the layers of hurt feelings, misunderstanding, broken trust, resentment, and ill will which hinder relationships. Love triumphs.

Are there situations in your life where layers of resentment have distanced you from other people? Try focusing beams of genuine love and kindness toward them. Pray that God would forgive them as He has forgiven you. Ask Him to provide for their needs and help them with their burdens. You will find that the layers which stood between you will begin to melt away. Herein is perfect love; herein is spiritual maturity.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.