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Posted: December 27, 2012 9:10 p.m.

Looking back

"Therefore, as God's choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other."
Colossians 3:12-13
(Common English Bible)

Have you ever noticed that around the holidays, people just seem nicer? Now, you may take issue with this statement if you have spent the last couple of days in the after-Christmas sales and standing in return lines. I was in the mad dash of traffic on Saturday before Christmas, and I witnessed many acts that would have received awards for meritorious behavior at other times of the year. It's amazing to me that even those who don't really celebrate Christmas seem to get into the holiday spirit by being a little nicer, a little more patient, and a little more understandable during this time of year.

So that makes me ask, what if people were nicer all year? Would road rage be so prominent in metropolitan areas? Would angry gunmen seem so volatile if someone had been just a bit nicer to them? While it would be a Polly Anna naiveté to think that all the problems in the world would just disappear, it is completely rational to say that maybe some of the violence in the world could be thwarted if people were just nicer to each other all year.

As we look back on our year that is quickly coming to a close, we can probably see times when we could have been a little more thoughtful and a little more patient with others. What would the world be like in 2013 if we all pledged to somehow live out the verses above? Could we all be a little more patient and kind? Jesus summed up the commandment like this, "Love one another." The words to songs from the 60s ring in my head: "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me." If we as Christians could make the pledge to be more loving and more forgiving and more patient with others in 2013, I think it might just be the best year yet.

Christ came to show us unconditional love and forgiveness. How can we serve God faithfully if we give less than that same love and forgiveness to each other? Make this pledge with me to try to remember each day to be more loving and more forgiving. Let this be our pledge as we celebrate a new year: to share God's love and forgiveness in unimaginable ways.

Happy New Year! Go with God in the coming year and let God guide your steps into ways of peace.

Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at


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