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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Loving the unlovely


Do you know people who make you crazy? People who are just mean, or seem to be bent on making you look bad. I have lots of experience with people like this. My challenge as a Christian is to love them.
 
So what does that mean to my walk with Jesus? It means I have to be kind, patient, and look for opportunities to get along with them. Sometimes this means saying I am wrong when I am not, saying I am sorry because they perceive I have done something to offend them. Other times it means standing and taking their anger and accusations quietly without lashing back.
Truthfully, this makes me crazy. I have difficulty understanding why people are so proud. I believe they have not realized that they are someday going to die and nothing they think right now is going to amount to a hill of beans. I believe that pride, that preening little devil that lives in us all, stands like a guardian on the cave of insecurity inside us all. When we let pride free, we lose the ability to practice love.
I think of Jesus standing before the accusing crowd of Pharisees and Pilot, listening to the nonsense they were all spouting. Jesus did not say a word. What words would you have to rebuke such nonsense? Many times when dealing with people I have no words. Some folks think I am weak, one person told me I was “milk toast’.
But why should I shame my Savior just to look good to a person who is going to die and turn into dust?
Matthew 5:44-46 (NKJV)
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father 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 have you?