As everyone does during some phase of life, we’re currently working through how to handle a couple difficult relationships in our life. What I’ve been pondering is how to love these people well even though I’m angry, hurt, and frustrated. And especially when I just plain don’t even like them right now. (Side note: of course, it’s all more complex than what I’m explaining, and ending the relationships is not an option.)
So how do you love well – love as Jesus would – in these instances?
The additional aspect that has convicted me most is that I don’t get to choose who Jesus loves or who receives eternal life with him and who doesn’t. I am not the one who determines whose heart is hard and beyond redemption. I should want to see others restored to right relationship with Christ, eternally secure, rather than walking around in the darkness that now consumes them – but if I’m honest, I don’t. I don’t think they deserve it. I don’t want to share eternity in glory with them.
It doesn’t seem fair.
And yet as we walk into these forty days of preparing for the biggest celebration of our faith, I am reminded that it’s not about fairness.
Being fair means I don’t get to go to heaven and spend eternity with God either.
So I return to a simple prayer that He gave me over five years ago: Lord, let me rejoice over the things that make you rejoice. Let me weep over the things that make you weep.
And I pray that these next forty days are a movement of his Spirit to help me see these difficult relationships – these difficult people – as he does, and love them well.