We get by with choosing who to love by using the excuse of feelings.
- Dose that person make you mad?
- Does that person hurt your feelings?
- Does that person scare you?
- Does that person annoy you?
- Do you just not “mesh” with that person?
- Do you just not get along with that person?
The extension of our love is more often than not decided by the answer to these questions. In essence, we put ourselves in the place of God and choose who and when to love depending on how someone treats us. It is an incredibly self-centered way to live. And yet, we’ve justified it by saying we are “protecting” ourselves.
As I’ve said in previous blogs, there are times when actual physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological protection is necessary. However, I think we are able to determine if we are in those situations or not or we can ask a counselor or trusted mentor for their thoughts.
If you aren’t in one of those situations and are just a human who rubs shoulders with other humans all day, chances are you will experience the grand spectrum of human emotions instigated by those other humans. This is just human (not to be redundant).
Have you ever thought that there’s a VERY good chance YOU are the person making someone else angry? Hurt? Scared? Annoyed? No, say it’s not so! But, yes! That’s just it! We don’t want to love or be loving to the people driving us nuts but GOD FORBID we be the people driving someone else nuts and therefore on the receiving end of hurtful statements, silence treatments, judgmental glances, and so on.
And just think of this: What if Jesus used your criteria as the excuses for not loving you? (If you aren’t a Jesus Follower, just skip past this and continue to call us hypocrites because we are unfortunately.) You’d be headed to Hell in a handbasket (to borrow my mom’s favorite saying).
So here’s the challenge: You choose to love someone when they make you mad. You choose to love someone when they hurt you. Annoy you. Bother you. You choose love.
But how? You ask. Well, in the moment you sense a tinge of anger or frustration or dislike or annoyance, just pray for that person. Then do or say something kind. Refuse to write him/her off. Refuse to continue in the drama or to retaliate. Just take a deep breath. Live above it. And find a way to bless that person. I’m not saying it will be easy. But I promise you, it will be worth it.