So, I think I know what brought you here. Let’s get some skeletons out the closet a little shall we?
Is there or has there ever been someone whom you
HATE dislike with a passion?
You know the kinda person who you just can’t stand! That “special person” who makes your blood boil hotter than a 212 degree body of water. The I don’t want to be around him/her🙄 My spirit doesn’t mix well with his/hers; the fakeness, the lies, everything about him/her rubs me the wrong way…ugh kind of person.
I’ll be honest, I struggle with overcoming strong dislike toward some. It takes me a lot to feel this way toward another human being because I know that we are each made in the image and likeness of God and deserve respect. “But what happens when that person isn’t being God-like, almost like he/she could be the enemy’s love child?!😤 Does that still apply?!”
I recently had a minute…ok… MAJOR, de-stress/vent session because someone dug really deep under my skin to hit that one estranged nerve I didn’t even think I possessed. Ohhh I was PISSED! How dare she do that? Why must she be so annoying and disrespectful? Why lie so much? No wonder she’s dealing with what she’s dealing with right now!! FOR WHAT?! She better not mess with me! I couldn’t wait for this person to step to me sideways so that I could show her that it takes two to tango. Two 👏🏾can 👏🏾play👏🏾 this👏🏾 game👏🏾 boo boo👏🏾. One questionable look and its on! POP AWWWWF!!
Woooo! I was brewing in anger, and then it happened; the conviction of life! The Holy Spirit stepped in and asked “So what fruit of the Spirit is this?” *Silence* But, but I’M UPSET!…*sigh* I recalled the verse that asked us to love ur enemies, and the other that says love covers several sins. In that moment I recognized that I had allowed irritability and anger into my safe space; I opened the door and welcomed discord in while love strutted out. I had no peace and became severely analytical of every little thing that was said or done to me. Meeen, I needed to get my peace back.
you hurt me, so you don’t deserve me loving you.
Remember the question I heard in my moment of venting and wilding out? “So what fruit of the Spirit is this?” Obviously what I was expressing was nowhere close to any fruit of the spirit; however, I understood the fruit I was lacking: LOVE. I had quite the opposite in my heart toward this blessed child of God, and it did not feel good! I knew I needed to admit my wrong and repent of my sin. In my anger I wondered, “What if God reacted to me in this manner while I was still a mess, doing all types of wrong, and straight-up imperfect(still am)?!” Humor me for a second, can you imagine if God, the Most High, straight curved my entire life because of my wrongdoing? Listen, I’d be D.E.A.D, Gone, poof, nonexistent. But I’m standing today because of His eternal love that knows no bounds and has no condition; “Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.” So if I’m so filled with the love of God why can’t I give it?!
Why is it so hard to love?
As children of God, we are made in the image and likeness of God; God is love, which means where there is God love MUST exist. So, no it’s not that it’s hard for us to love because we don’t have love or the ability to love. Love is woven in the fabric of our existence. I mean, love is what breathed us to life, it’s what sustains us, it’s what gives us the access to righteousness in God. 1 John 4:19 reads “We love each other because he loved us first.” He meaning God; evidently, we love because God loves. And because we know that God loves us, yes you and me, despite our unfaithfulness, sinfulness, and disobedience, we CAN love others. We can love the unloveable people, the hard to love beings we come in contact with on a daily basis. It’s hard for us to love because we don’t know how to love those who upset us; “you hurt me, so you don’t deserve me loving you.”
We’ve established that we do have the ability to love, the real question is How.do.we.do.it?
By living in God and living like Christ. We must love the way we’ve experienced and seen God love us. 1 John 4:17 says “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.” Soooo how can we actually do it? you ask.
Practically speaking, we can do the following as we’ve each personally received from God.
1. Show mercy: Forgive the offense. I know, it’s easier said than done. I’m not here to say “forgive and forget;” some are graced to forget more than others. One thing I must compel us to do is forgive. Matthew 6:14-15 reads “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Simply put, do unto others as you want things to be done to you. Love covers a multitude of sins (1Cor 13), let’s allow our to have that ability.
2. Extend grace: God’s grace is sufficient for us to do what our flesh finds difficult to do. We receive God’s grace consistently when we err in pleasing Him. We all sin and fall short of God’s glory, YET God freely and graciously calls us righteous.(Romans 3:23). In that same manner, we must be able to freely and graciously consider our offenders as righteous. Breehh that hurt as I typed, but God is working on me. This goes hand in hand with mercy; once we’ve forgiven, we can release the offenders from the wrong they’ve done to us, which leads us to the next point.
3. See through the eyes of love: “Put your love glasses on.” Mine are cat-eyed cheetah print glasses😎. My best friends and I discovered something called the Love dare challenge. While it’s a challenge for married couples, we implement it in other aspects of our lives. When we’re provoked by anything or anyone, we immediately exclaim “LOVE DARE!” It’s our way of reminding ourselves to respond in love. I don’t have much to breakdown in this category besides sharing the definition of love according to Love itself (God). 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
We are called to love, love is a very critical component of our lives. 1 Cor 13:3 “If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” So, let love reign. Think about that someone; that person who you’d rather not think about. That man or that woman who said something offensive, or did something offensive to you. It could be your boss, your mom, your dad, your ex-friend, or it could be yourself. Show mercy, express grace, and see through the eyes of love.
I’m practicing this as well with the help of a devotional on YouVersion titled “Called to love.” I’m starting it today and you can try it out too!
Put your love on top!❤️
I’d like to provide an opportunity to those who are yet to meet with Jesus. If you have a deep desire to know Jesus and enter into the kingdom of God you are in great company. I did at some point in my life, and it was the greatest desire that God ever met!
I invite you to pray the sinner’s prayer: Dear Jesus, I accept that I am a sinner and I confess my sins before you. I believe that you died for my sins and rose again to give me new life. I ask that you forgive me of my sins; cleanse me with your precious blood which you shed on the cross of Calvary. I accept you as my personal Lord and Savior. Fill me up with your Holy Spirit and strengthen me. I profess that I am a new creature; old things have passed away and I have become new in You. Thank You Lord! In Jesus name, AMEN!
If you prayed the prayer, WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM FAMILY!! You are a new creature, the old has passed and the new is here! Be sure to find a bible believing, Spirit led church in your city and purchase a bible in a version that you understand. I use the New Living Translation, Message, or the New International Version. Enjoy the journey!