I struggle with people who are not nice to me. Frankly, I sometimes think that even Jesus would slap them. It’s easy to honor and love people who are nice to us, and it’s easy to be a jerk to people who are not nice to us or who have hurt us.
But neither of those things is honoring to God. It reminds me of this verse:
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Or John 6:27-36 27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
If you’ve read this blog anytime lately, I talk about having fruit. Now, I have had a few moments when I can feel my fruit rotting. Oh my word, but honestly, I remember that picture that is posted here. When I am a jerk, it is rarely about someone else, it is about me. It is about me, and my heart. Life is not about me, but if I am a jerk, that has nothing to do with anyone else but me. I have learned for me, that if I am holding something back, if I am not sharing information (that should be shared) because I want to have control because, well, I’m being a jerk, I have learned that I have chosen not to trust God and I have chosen to not love. If I love, anything I have belongs to everyone else anyway. I’m learning to let go.
And the flipside is also true. If someone is a jerk to me, sure, I may have done something not right to make them mad or hurt them, it really is about them. If they choose not to forgive that is about them. It’s my job to say I am sorry and to be truthful and to not continue to hurt that person.
Sometimes people have a hard time forgiving, and sometimes people are just not nice to me. But that’s not my issue. My job is to continue to love them, right where they are. To do all that is in my power to love.
THIS IS SOOOOOO HARD FOR ME! Just ask my friends, I complain about the hurt, but I will catch myself (if they don’t) and say “I better check myself, its not ok for them to be mean, but it’s not ok for me to do anything but love and help them”. That’s my job.
So as I write this… I’m speaking to myself. Love. Never stop.
1 Cor 13
If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.