Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

February 1, 2021: The Patient

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35, KJV).

Love is a word easily tossed around without much thought. In many ways, love is acceptance, compassion, even tolerance. As a nurse in an inpatient mental health unit, I was assigned a patient no one else wanted. I typically didn’t read my assigned patients’ charts before personally meeting and speaking with them. All I knew was that he was depressed and that he was at one time the grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan.

Because I met him prior to reading his chart, I came in without bias, and established a tentative relationship with him. My first impression was that he was a kind, sad, old man. As he told me about his son who was in jail,
I listened to, comforted and prayed with him. Though he regretted and took ownership of his past, I assured him that God loved and forgave him.

One day, as he clung to his Bible, he said, “The people I have been the meanest to have been the kindest to me.” For me to hate or despise him would have been useless; I could not have hated him more than he hated himself. I sensed he had genuine regret for his past actions, and my duty was to accept—not judge—him as he was now and show him forgiveness and acceptance in my kindness. After all, has not Christ forgiven me?

Lord, thank You for giving us Your love for others. Amen.


Dorothy L. Brown is a member of the Centerville church in Ohio.

Read more devotionals:
February 1, 2021: The Patient
February 2, 2021: Trust God
February 3, 2021: What Does it Take to Be a Hero?
February 4, 2021: A Lame Man is Healed
February 5, 2021: When Silence Speaks Louder Than Words
February 6, 2021: Plans That Included Me
February 7, 2021: From Test to Testimony

Join the Journey 

To help you dig deeper into God’s Holy Word this year, we’re offering:

  • Every Month—This calendar, themed “Words of Life,” coincides with the devotional book and videos. It features a biblical topic and verse each month, with additional passages for further exploration, study and ideas on how to apply the concepts in your daily life.

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