Sometimes, it’s so easy to love someone. Perhaps he or she has an upbeat personality. Perhaps he or she performs acts of kindness and connections. Perhaps he or she is emotionally warm and approachable and easy to talk to. We all know people like that, and I thank God we do. They are exceptional and rare, but God does place them across our paths.
Many times, it’s hard to love others. Perhaps they have a bad attitude and appear rude and uncaring. Or perhaps they appear harsh and cruel. Or perhaps they offend us physically by not being as clean and neat as we are. Or perhaps they don’t agree with us as friends and spouses and how dare they! Sometimes Pastor G is lucky to be alive!
What does God do when someone is hard to love? Are there limits to love? What did Jesus do? God doesn’t give up until He sees that hearts are hardened beyond reach. Jesus saw pain and suffering in situations where people were quick to judge. There must have been a reason the tax collector Matthew got out of the tree and followed Him. There must have been a reason why the woman caught in adultery stood there quietly while Christ wrote on the ground, convicting those that brought her to Him for judgment.
The point is, in order to be love as God is, we need His help to transcend what seems obvious to us but is a symptom of a deeper underlying issue. God created us to love us and be in relationship with us, and we who are His need to be love like He is to others. Love may not appear to soften hurting hearts, but it does. Hurting people are so used to pain that love shocks them and can make them feel vulnerable even when it’s very apparent that you sincerely care and want to be there for them. A few caring words with eye contact can go a long way to positively impacting a life that’s hard.
Father God, grant us the love to see beyond harsh words and actions to see the hurting, damaged person needing Your love and compassion. Help us all to be instruments of Your love and kindness so that the hurting can break free from what’s wrong in their lives and begin a new, emotionally and spiritually healthy path. Help us to be sensitive to when You place those across our path that need just a few minutes of compassion. Help us to be the encouragers You created us to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.
That’s today’s encouraging word. May you be God’s instrument of encouragement today and every day.
copyright 2014, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved