When Loving is Hard By Mentor Wendy


Like most adults, I like to think of myself as mature and selfless, ready and able to lay aside my plans as needed when the situation and circumstances require. To a certain extent that is true: in an emergency I can drop whatever I am doing and rush to help. But what about less dire moments? Am I willing to change my schedule for people that I feel less than loving towards… especially if it’s for someone I’d really rather not have to accomodate?

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Loving Your Enemies

 

Loving the people I like is easy. Jesus had something to say about our reward in doing that very thing in Matthew 5:44-46.

 

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  so that you may be sons of your Father who is 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 do you have?”

 

Okay… love my enemies… gulp. But what if the person is not exactly my enemy –  just really irritating or demanding? Defining who my enemies are may be as surprising as finding out who Jesus was talking about when He showed us who our are neighbors are in the story of The Good Samaritan.

 

My own version of the above verse might look like this:

 

“But I say to you,” love the interrupting and distracting ones, the loud neighbors, the obnoxious co-worker, the critical boss, the rebellious teenager, and even the know-it-alls. Pray for those who criticize, demean, and look down on you, “so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.”

 

MY WILL OR HIS?

 

I find that loving others well, the way Jesus wants me to, involves an active choice on my part. It requires that I recognize the reaction of irritation in my heart for what it is, an ungodly response of my flesh to something (or someone!) that I would prefer not to be happening at that time or place.

 

It requires me to acknowledge that whether I like it or not, God has allowed the circumstance and that I can either exert my will to rid myself of an unpleasant situation or person, or I can humbly lay my heart at the feet of Jesus.

                               

When my default reaction of justifying myself becomes less about covering up my sin and more about taking my revealed sin to the cross, something beautiful occurs. Jesus becomes the One I Run To… my  Holy Refuge from the sin that He in His wisdom and love allowed to illuminate the places in my heart that need His cleansing and forgiveness.

 

I’m no longer in the throes of a clamoring household of children. My youngest child, and the only one of seven children still at home, is a a delightfully mature 17 year-old. Although most of the time our household runs along fairly smoothly, I’ve noticed that when the rare disruption does

occur that it can make me feel resentful and anxious.

 

The Holy Spirit has convicted me of selfishness in this area and has managed to bring some needed changes. Recently I’ve had the opportunity to travel and spend an extended visit with some of my grandchildren.

Jumping into the noise and lively interactions of six homeschooled children is not for the fainthearted!  Weeks of running this busy household while their parents are away has shown me that I still very much need the grace and mercy of Jesus for my sometimes less than loving reactions.

 

My heart is hungry for more of Jesus and less of myself. But my sinful nature continues to covet having things done my way on my schedule. Left to my own shortsighted way I’d end up a mess… fragile, fearful, and sadly… alone.

Thankfully God has provided a way of escape from the conflict between my sinful heart and His will for me. That way is a person and His name is Jesus. And He also provided an example for me to follow.

 

“And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

 

WHICH SHALL IT BE?

 

Shall I continue clutching my sin-soaked independence versus falling on my face in worshipful obedience with the Lover of My Soul? I pray not.

As I daily fall more in love with Jesus, my heart’s desire is that my response to Him in times of a  conflict between His will or mine may be an ever more resounding, “yes” to Him.

 

Wendy 5-15

Stay Connected With Wendy

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8 thoughts on “When Loving is Hard By Mentor Wendy

  1. Wendy- I love this. After spending several days in a row with my kids I too, felt that ugly selfish beast come out in my several times. As a working Mom, I can admit I enjoy the time I have at work, I am a naturally introverted persona and I also crave control and routine. When the holidays hit- I struggle with these things, and honestly evenings and weekends as well. But my children need me to be a source of consistency and love and I am always humbled, put on my knees and forced to cling all the more to the Lord as I parent my boys. I so admire stay at home Moms who do it all day long, but I know they struggle too. It is encouraging to know that I am not alone. Loving is VERY hard and it is good to remember that because when we think it should be EASY, we get frustrated when it is NOT- Amen? The frustration turns to looking outward at others for causing our frustration when truly it is our own sin-nature that is the source of the frustration. It saddens me when I think of how often I act as if my kids are the source of my frustration but God is so good and I have continually put into practice the night-time routine of asking my kids for forgiveness for any times throughout my day where I have been grumpy with them. These moments are redeemable. But I want them to be less, and I want more moments where this Mama is able to keep her cool, discipline in love, turn to the Lord immediately as I begin to feel frustrated and turn away from my desire to react. I will teach my kids this way as well so that they can learn. Anyways- I am rambling. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Liz,
    Your comment is beautiful… real and transparent. It reveals your heart which is full of love for your little ones as well as your desire for Jesus to love them through you. May the Lord bless you with His grace to empower you to love them well. And amen to what you said about loving being Hard!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christina,
    I’ve been challenged the same way… not to ignore those who make me uncomfortable. May Jesus make it possible for us to love them in His name.

    Liked by 1 person

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