Be Kind, Rewind.

Ah, yes.  Do you remember?

There are a number of you who read the title to this article and knew exactly what I was referring to.  And, there are a number of you, who are of a younger demographic cohort, who have no idea what the title is all about.

Way back in late 1970’s the first VCR was introduced to the consumer market.  VCR stands for Video Cassette Recorder.  A VCR played videos – which were taped copies of movies or shows you could watch on your TV.  Initially there were two formats:  VHS and Beta.  VHS won the battle of the video formats and took over the market.

When VCRs first came out you would go down to your friendly neighbourhood video store to rent videos.  Very few people actually owned a VCR so you would rent the VCR as well.

I remember coming home from the video store near our house lugging a big black suitcase with the VCR inside.  I would open it up on the red shag rug in our family room and then hook up the wires to our 27” Electrohome console TV.  Which, of course, had no remote control.  To flip through the channels you had to sit on the floor within arm’s length of the TV turning the knob through both channels if you had an antenna, and a handful of channels if you had cable.

However, this magical device known as a VCR opened up a whole new world of entertainment.  Sure, we were used to music coming on tapes – 8-tracks and then cassettes – but now we could get movies.  Yes!  My love of movies began to grow and flourish.

Then one day my dad came home with what would revolutionize my leisure life – our very own VCR!  No more renting, no more $200 deposit, no more lugging home a massive suitcase of electronics.  Now I could watch videos whenever I wanted.

Before we amassed our own video collection we’d still make regular trips down to the video store to rent video cassettes.  Every video cassette had a start and a finish – a beginning and an end.  When you watched the video you’d finish up at the end of the tape.  Then, of course you would need to rewind the video back to the beginning.

Many consumers would neglect to rewind the video cassette, so rental stores would place a sticker on the video,

“Be kind, rewind.”

I was reminded recently of this message, and how relevant it is for our lives.

What relationships do you need to rewind?  What issues do you need to rewind?

Is there someone in your life you’ve been holding something against?  It may be something small.  It may be something significant.  It may involve forgiveness.  Or, it may simply be shifting your perception of someone.

To rewind a relationship is to take it back to the pre-offense, or the pre-ticked-off stage.

There are 2 ways we can rewind a relationship: 1. Forgive someone, or 2. Extend grace to someone.

We need to forgive someone when they’ve done something to hurt us.  Perhaps they said or did something they shouldn’t have, or they didn’t say or didn’t do something they should have.  To forgive is to let them out of your prison of resentment and bitterness.  And, it sets you free from the prison as well.

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself because the resentment will kill you, not them.

However, oftentimes what a strained relationship needs is to extend grace to a person who said or did something that negatively impacted your relationship.  No forgiveness is actually needed, it’s a simple reset.  Just believe the best about someone, let it go and move on.

Have grace for them.

Knowing we’re all broken and unintentionally hurt others, means that we all need to be adept at “rewinding” relationships.  We must choose to be kind and rewind.  It may involve a “courageous carefrontation”, or it may involve saying nothing.

Who do you need to forgive?  What do you need to let go?  Where do you need to believe the best about someone and move on?

Be kind, rewind.

Colossians 3:12-14

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

2 Thessalonians 3:18

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.”

Hebrews 12:15

“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

1 Peter 4:8

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

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