Sometimes it is people whom we love the very most who bring out the extreme worst in us. It is those with whom we are in daily contact who seem to drain us of every bit of Christian virtue until they expose the ugly core of our personality.
We all have difficult people in our lives who may have strategically been placed there by God himself. Imagine that! God loves you enough to trust you to be kind to difficult people. God wants you to grow in the fruit of the Spirit and so He allows a boorish, fractious woman to invade the sweet circle of your life. God needs men and women in every generation who will love the unlovable, be kind to the unkind, be patient in the face of ugly impatience and bless those who are categorically cruel.
God actually created you to love people who are monstrously rude; He placed you here at this time in history because He trusted that you would indeed mature and then allow His glory to shine out of you into the darkness of people’s souls. You will never do this with your own personality or if you rely on the emotional legacy bequeathed upon you by your parents. You will only do this when you determine in your heart that you want to be like Jesus. When you decide that you would rather be like Jesus than like you. When you decide that His way really is better than your way, that you do not have a better idea than God.
When you demonstrate love in stormy situations and choose to be kind rather than throw an emotional and well-deserved tantrum, you are saying, “I will act like my Dad! I am part of His family and this is what we do! We love unlovable people. It is the family business to reach out with divine kindness to fractious people.” Do not ever forget that you are the beneficiary of the family genetic code that enables you to love difficult people. It is what Christians do!
Excerpted from The Bible reading Plan: Holy Emotions – Biblical Responses to Every Challenge by Carol McLeod and Just Joy Ministries
If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”
Matthew 5:47-48 (MSG)