Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Loving when it’s hard

“What on earth was that?”  I thought to myself as I hung up the phone.  I had just gotten an earful about how I’ve wronged the caller.  As she went on and on, I tried to remain calm and to not say anything I would regret.  I tried to look at the situation critically and see what I needed to apologize for.  But, here’s the thing… I don’t think I was wrong, and she obviously does.  So how do I bring the situation to reconciliation?

So here’s what I did… I told her I was sorry that it upset her so much.  I told her that my intention was never for her to get hurt.  I told her that to be honest, I don’t know how I would have handled the situation differently, but if I was wrong, I am truly sorry.  But I don’t think it was good enough for her.  And to be honest, I’m not sure if completely agreeing with her, accepting full responsiblity, and apologizing would have been enough.  She was angry and wanted me to know the full extent of her anger.

So now I replay over and over the conversation and the initial situation that caused her anger.  And I pray, “God, show me how to handle this.  Show me where I’m wrong.  Show me if I need to accept responsiblity and apologize more.”  To be honest when I first started praying, it was out of a prideful heart that really didn’t think there was anything for God to show me.  But the more I prayed, the more I was open to the possibility that I may have been in the wrong.  Yet, as I pray and replay the scenario, I still don’t see my guilt.

So now I’m praying that God would soften her heart.  That her anger would subside, and she would be able to look at the situation critically and rationally.  And more importantly I’m praying for my heart…

That I would not become angry and bitter and spiteful towards her.  That I would not gossip about her.  That I would not think more highly of myself than I ought.  That I would rest in God’s love and assurance and be confident that even though people will fail me, God will not.  That I would still be able to love this woman and show her God’s love.

Because my imperfect, human heart wants to get all angry and yell back and tell everyone I come in contact with about the situation and wish horrible things on her…

But to what end?  It serves no purpose.  And Christ has called me to more.  Here’s what God said through the Apostle John in 1 John 4: 7-21:

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.

If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

So I will battle my imperfect human desires and pray for Jesus to fill me with love and show me how to love.  Hopefully I’ll learn quickly and this “lesson” will be finished soon!

Do you struggle loving someone?  How do you love those “unloveables” that God has put in your life?

Pressing on with you…




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