Thursday, July 28, 2011

LOVE, Even When it's Hard


"If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect ,therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:46-48

I had ignored this verse for a long time. When I wasn't ignoring it, I was assigning it some trivial meaning. You know, something like "well I just need to be polite to everyone, even those who are not polite to me". Really Jami? Sad, but a true story. And maybe I was polite all while having sinful thoughts about that person or making a snide comment later.
More recently though, God has been showing me what this verse truly means. It has nothing to do with being polite, especially when it's phony. What it means is to truly LOVE those who are difficult to love. Do you truly LOVE those who drive you crazy or seem stand offish when you meet them? I will admit that I did not. 
God has used a couple of different relationships to show me what He calls me to in this verse. 
When you have a bad run in with someone do you write them off? I used to. With no regard for what they might be going through. No regard for what may have brought them to the point that I feel they are impossible to deal with. When I actually take the time to look past the surface and listen to people, get to know them and hear their story, my whole perception is changed. This may not always be the case but in cases where I have set myself aside and LOVED on someone I wouldn't have in my own spirit, He has blessed me for it. I have made some dear friends that I never expected.  And don't I want people to give me that same chance? I am certain that every first impression I have ever made has not been stellar {no need to send me examples}.

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Matthew 7:1-2

What about a long going relationship that you thought was hopeless and had given up on? Yep, I've had that too. I may have even fed off the drama of it {ouch, that's hard to admit}. What I can be sure of is that I spent a lot of time focusing on the other person and not myself. But God calls me to love those that are difficult for me to love. The key word there being "ME". Whether or not I LOVE someone is my choice. It should not be based on how I feel the other person is treating me. And when I finally let go and let the Spirit take over God blessed that relationship as well. It's not always perfect but He will always come before me and pave the way.
So who in your life is difficult to LOVE? Will you choose to love them anyway? I hope so.

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22 comments:

hannah singer said...

yes, ma'am. such a hard thing sometimes. so thankful for GRACE. may i be quick to offer it to others.

miss you!

april@gingerbread said...

this is very true...and very hard for me....great post...ii needed it
xoxo

Kelly said...

oh jami, you ALWAYS have the most beautiful way of kick in my rear into gear.
xxO

Kathryn said...

that's beautiful, Jami. thank you for sharing this and reminding!

Sarah B. said...

Well said!! Love is a CHOICE! Thanks for writing this!!

the lowes said...

good thoughts and reminder girl. love you , thankful to be bloggy friends :)

Sarah Fontenot said...

Great post! Such a wonderful reminder. I definitely needed that.

Nikki said...

I LOVE this reminder. I was recently able to restore a friendship that fell apart in college...I'm so grateful for grace and forgiveness! Love covers a multitude of sins :)

katygirl said...

i really needed to hear this today. :)

chelsea {joy} said...

love this and love you. you are so great :)

{cuppakim} said...

a really great reminder this morning.
thanks jami.

i do need to hear that.
often.
<3

Erika @ Rouge & Whimsy said...

so good to hear and remember.

i was feeling encouraged this week b/c i think God has really done a good work on me in this area. a few years ago i judged and judged and withheld love from people that were difficult. i think my heart is softening & i'm learning how to love-- truly love people.

Krista said...

Oh man, I am so guilty of this. Working on it though! Thanks for the sharing this great post and your experiences with it....inspiring.

Moriah said...

Hopping over from Yellow Songbird. So glad I've found your blog, Jami! I'm really excited to start reading and follow along. God bless! :)

heartland farmhouse said...

Good Word! Very true!
After 5 plus years of getting beat up (by people)& battle scared at our small business. Our hearts are healing and finally coming back around. Life is so much better when you truly LOVE!

Bless YOU!

Rebecca

Nessa said...

I love your post like this. SO many lessons to learn, relearn or be reminded of. Thank you Jami.

Liz said...

What an awesome post. I love your heart.

Katie said...

Our ladies Bible study Tuesday morning was about love and ouch... those words stung. I realized I was in the same boat of just being polite. Even when it comes down to people that are close to me that I truly love with all my heart... I wasn't showing my love as Christ would want me to. Great reminders, Jami :)

Jen said...

Love this post! It was so great to read this today, i feel as though I really needed it today. :) Love your blog and your family is beautiful. xoxoxo

Meggan from Lila Grace Accessories said...

Jami I just love your awesome faith, family and blog! Thank you so much for your sweet comments on my blog! I am excited to follow your blog! xo

Amanda Maggio said...

this is an incredible post. i loved reading it and it's a great reminder to all. xoxo

Marie said...

Jami,

this is the heart of the matter, is it not? i fail completely and miserably all of the time. this girl has had issue with love, forgiveness, and judging.

praise Jesus that he is not deterred by my failures and blindness. i am thankful that he will be faithful to complete this in me.

thanks for sharing.