Friday, February 14, 2020

Loving Difficult People

Friday, February 14, 2020
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all this put-on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  Colossians 3:12-14

Loving Difficult People
It’s Valentine’s Day - the day we think about love, celebrate the ones we love, or wish we had love. However, true love looks very different than the world’s opinion of love. The movies and TV shows make love look easy and perfect but true love is messy and hard even in the best of marriages and friendships. 
Love is not just a feeling; it is really caring about what happens to someone. It transforms us more than the ones we love. It is what God has called us to do - love Him and love others. True, selfless love requires a strength we do not possess.  It comes from outside us; it comes from Him. 
We mistakenly believe that love makes everything better, and it does, but only when we are willing to give of ourselves. Too many times we want something to be given to us instead of gaining true satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from giving of ourselves to others. God did not create us only for us to be happy and comfortable the rest of our lives.  He commanded us to go and show His love to others - to the easy ones to love and to the hard ones to love as well. 
Sometimes there are people in our lives that we want to show love to, but they make it very difficult. They are hard to get along with and never happy. The easiest thing is to completely avoid them, but is that truly what God wants us to do? We are all flawed and some of us require more work than others, but God still wants His children to show love in these difficult situations the way He shows love to us.
Some things we can do to show love to those difficult people in our lives:
·      Pray for yourself - Pray for the patience, understanding, and compassion.  Pray about the condition of your heart and thoughts.  Pray to keep bitterness away and to love like Jesus. 
·      Pray for them - Pray for them to be open to you and pray for them to be open and willing to receive the love you show them. Pray for a softening of their heart by the Holy Spirit.
·      Stay with them - Most of the time, we steer clear of difficult people. Stay in the game. Don't avoid them and don't give up right away.
·      Look for ways to show love - Be intentional and purposeful.
·      Give grace - Remember how much grace God pours out on you daily and ask Him to help you forgive as you have been forgiven.
God puts people in our lives for a reason, don’t ignore the difficult people, but love them as Jesus would. Difficult people are the very people we need to be intentional about loving. The steadfast love of our Heavenly Father will sustain us and help us to pass His love on to those around us who need it today and every day.

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2 NLT


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