“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” -1 John 4:11
I remember sitting in the back of my parent’s car driving to my grandparent’s house and my brother kept pestering me. He kept poking and making fun of me. This was before iPods and DVD players and so that was the only thing he had to entertain himself. He persisted and I had had enough. So I punched him. Not in the arm. Not in the leg. I punched him in the face. It was in the motion of my fist flying towards his face that I realized that we were driving down the interstate at 70 mph and there was no where for me to go. I was in the backseat of a car with my older brother who could beat the snot out of me. I begged for mercy and that he wouldn’t rip my arm off and beat me with it. Luckily, I have a pretty awesome brother (and apparently a very weak punch) and he let me escape with my life.
We all want to live like Christ and be as Christ-like as possible, but do we want to live out 1 John 4:11?
Do we really want to love the person that gossips about us? Do we really want to love the person who broke up our marriage? Do we really want to love the person who got a promotion over us? Do we really want to love the person who has no respect for us?
In high school I had to live this out. There was a student that was a few years older than me and he continually picked on me. He was the loud obnoxious kid in the class (he was a couple of years older than I and in a class with all freshman…you get the picture) and always had a comment about everything. Whenever I was called on in class he would make a comment and he would sit next to me for the simple fact that he knew I was uncomfortable with him.
Several weeks into the class I had had enough. I knew that if I went to the teacher or the principal that it would just get worse. So I did the next best thing….I went to God. I went to God and asked Him to help me love this guy like God loves him. To see him as a guy who has some hurts and hangups that are causing him to take his pain and hurt out on me.
It was in this prayer that I was finally able to get over his comments. I no longer went out of my way to avoid him. I no longer hoped that he would be sick and miss class. I saw him as a living and breathing human being that is loved by God. That God loved so much that He sent His Son to die for him.
Who in your life do you need to ask God to help you see how He sees them?