Love. What does it really boil down to? Of course you love the people you want to love. But what about those that you would rather not be around or better yet, those that you just cannot stand to be around. How about those people? Love, the way Jesus meant it, is hard. I was eating dinner the other night with my family when my husband said something that hurt. The ones we love are the ones that are able to hurt us the most. I quietly left the room and almost started to cry on my way up to our bedroom. I prayed on that short journey up the stairs and when I reached the landing I reached my decision. I was going to love him even though he did not deserve it. I cleaned the bedroom and put away some of his things and sat and prayed for him with all the love I have for him. Guess what? I found freedom. There is a tremendous amount of freedom you experience when you love when it is hard, when you love when they don’t deserve it, when you love when the world says you have every right to hate. My husband is the love of my life so perhaps that is not the best example, however when I think about those that I don’t quite get along with, or those that don’t like me, when I love them the way Jesus tells me to love them, that is the perfect example of what it means to love. Think about the people in your life that have made your life hard. How can you show Jesus to them the next time they screw up your day?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48