As a Christian, are we called to only love one another when they treat us like they should? If you’re like me, your answer is, “well, of course not.”
But... do your actions reflect your beliefs?
I am ashamed to say that mine certainly don’t always line up, as much as I want to love everyone the way I know the Lord has called me to, I often struggle with it.
Recently, the Lord has allowed me to go through several trials that have been a true test of not necessarily my faith, because I know He’s been right here beside me every step of the way, but more of my character. The Lord’s desire for me to love others the way He loves me has been so impressed on my heart lately.
Sometimes people, even those in your own family, out of jealousy or their own insecurity, can treat you so unfairly. It may not be to your face, but rather in a spiteful, malicious way that hurts far deeper than just a plain old insult ever could. They might talk about you behind your back after being sweet as pie to your face and they might have all the wrong motives when they “help” you. It always hurts worse when those who are supposed to love you hurt you.
Sometimes, people who truly have your best interest at heart don’t understand the value of your dreams and tear you down rather than build you up. It is so disheartening to have your dreams disregarded as trivial or unimportant. But sometimes people haven’t grown up the same way you have, and they don’t know how to dream big, or maybe they never had the opportunities you have so they resent you. There are always going to be those who don’t see the value in your dreams, but it’s how you respond that determines your true success.
Sometimes, people have hurt you so badly that it’s hard to trust them. It’s so easy to let unforgiveness turn you into a person you are not. When your thoughts are consumed with how a person has hurt you, it stops you from growing and imprisons you to a cold, hard heart rather than a heart like Christ’s. Don’t respond to this treatment by acting the same way the person that hurt you did. That makes you just as bad as them! Remember, hurting people hurt people.
I’ve been in all three of these situations in the last few months, and I wish I could say I was a calm, collected woman of grace throughout it all. There have been lots of times that I haven’t understood why I was going through such a trial, especially since they’ve all been with people I genuinely love and want to be close to. However, the Lord doesn’t only call us to love the lovable. He calls us to love the unlovable. He calls us to love the back-stabbers, the gossips, the dream-crushers and the spiteful ones. We are called to love those who hurt us, knowing we are no better them if we retaliate with the same hurtful attitudes.
Jealousy, insecurity and holding grudges are poisons that prevent us from living together in unity and loving one another the way Jesus wants us to.
Be the bigger person, strive every day to love those that hurt you, know that God won’t give you anything you can’t handle, and most importantly, remember that He is by your side every step of the way.