I've recently been handed a challenge. Now, I've been talking about this being a year in which I would be challenged to love like Jesus, but I'm beginning to see more what that really means. It can be quite easy to love someone who is easy to love. Someone who treats me well, agrees with me on the important issues, if not on everything, and shares a similar sense of humor.
But what about the people who aren't so easy to love?
The people who hurt me, abuse me, use me, look down upon me. The people who disagree with me on all of the important issues and in my opinion could use a good dose of humor. They too, are to be loved. And not just in general, but by me.
I have recently been going through various situations in which I've had to again and again choose to forgive and not to hold on to offense. I've had to be nice to people I haven't wanted to, and maintain relationships with people I'd rather not.
The icing on the cake of insult added to injury happened to me the other day, but I slapped a smile on my face, did the work I needed to do, and waited until a more appropriate time to process what had happened with the friend who was with me. Later that evening during a time of worship she gave me a word she had for me, that now that I had seen the hearts of men, was I still willing to love them?
Was I? Am I?
I have to be. I have to be. When I went through healing because of issues of race and slavery my first year in Poland, I told my missions partner I had no choice but to forgive because what God has planned for me is more important than being proven right, having people apologize to me, etc etc. The same holds true in this situation.
Me and God have a good thing going and I'm not going to mess it up by letting bitterness take root in my heart.
I'm calling myself out on my tendency to withdraw and cultivate distance between me and people who I feel have hurt me. I've been using boundaries as an excuse to put up walls, and that should never be my aim. So now I am making a concerted effort to tear down those walls and remain open to God's guidance.
If this is resonating with you send me a message and we can encourage each other as we take this journey together!