A couple of weeks ago I used Matthew 5:22-24 in my sermon. It has weighed heavy on my heart since then and I finally figured out it was talking to ME! I just could not get it off my mind so I thought I would write about it and maybe it would touch someone else's life. "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighborand hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemiesand pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:22-24, NIV)
Most of us have friends that are so easy to be friends with that it is like breathing. Then there are those people in our lives that make us feel as if we are choking. I know....this has nothing to do with you...but it does me and maybe writing will help me work it out. I have friends....and yes....I am using the word "friends" here.....that I have to work at to be friends with. The deal is....I work at it. It should be easy to be friends with someone shouldn't it? I know that it is so much easier to love people who are just like me. In reading this scripture I thought...."why God can you not make this easy for me. Why can't I just love people I want to....and who are easy to.....but it is not that way. Being a child of God is not easy....you have to put your all in it. I wish God’s commands lined up with the way I think. They don’t. I mean...come on...we are not only to love our neighbor – which could get sticky – but we are have to love our enemies and pray for people who are irritating. We had neighbors once with a big, mean dog....we had a medium sized dog who loved to roam. There were no leash laws...so Brownie would wander through the yards getting from one place to another. The neighbor actually shot at him and hit him once. When I asked them about it....they told me I should leash that ferocious beast up. Ferocious? Brownie might have been guilty of licking you to death...but nothing else. One day Brownie was lying in our side yard when I heard a commotion. The neighbors dog had come over and mauled my dog to death. When I went to see them about it....their response was ...."dogs will be dogs." Not easy to love by a long shot. It is a lesson I have to keep learning. It is so easy to love some people...and not easy to love others....but I keep pressing on. .I have to admit....some of my biggest blessings have come from those moments I pressed on. Some of my dearest friends turned out to be those people I did not fall in love with at first sight. When I say my prayers each day I have to ask my heavenly Father to forgive me for not loving with my whole heart, the hard-to-love people in my life. Letting in love for them shine from me....is a conscience choice I make. My grandfather used to tell me not to judge another person until you had walked a mile in his moccasins. My goal for the rest of my life is to look at others through God's eyes....not Karen's. So, there is about 14 days til Christmas....how about we all ask God to show us a need in the life of someone we find abrasive, show us how to meet that need, and follow through. Let that be a Christmas gift to yourself.....and the other person too. God Bless You All!
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
3 months ago