If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. Luke 6:32
Do you know what this verse means?
It means that if all we have in our lives are people that are easy to love, the world will NEVER see God’s love through us.
We need difficult people in our lives. Without them, God’s love is not evident to people watching our lives.
Sure, there are difficult people that we must stay away from. The Bible says, for example, to stay away from people with tempers: Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered. We can’t stay in close proximity to relationships that are abusive or harmful. That’s not what this is about.
This is about hard relationships, not harmful ones.
Relationships are difficult, particularly our most intimate ones, like the relationship we have with a spouse or child. Friendships are much more likely to ebb and flow with life, but when it comes to the person named on a marriage license or birth certificate, not so much.
I was thinking recently about some women I know in hard seasons of marriage. I myself have had them. If a woman takes action to leave, God will have to bring another difficult relationship along, like a boss or next-door-neighbor. Personally, I want some difficult people in my life because I want to glorify God. I want it to be evident to all that I am a Christ follower and this is not possible unless people see my loving another person NO MATTER WHAT.
And I am figuring out I can’t do that without difficult people.
In a recent online devotional by Neil Anderson, he says, If you say you don’t love someone, you have said more about yourself than about that person. Specifically, you’re saying that you haven’t attained the maturity to love him [or her] unconditionally. (Luke 6:32)*
Ouch! But true.
This post is not theory for me. Nor does it reflect what a good Christian woman is supposed to say. This is who I am and what I believe from deep down in my heart as God has changed me in the last 25 years of walking closely with Him.
God loves unconditionally.
Difficult people are the sandpaper we need to rub off the edges we have that demand a person meet a certain level of compliance before we decide to give him or her our whole heart.
My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this summer. We went to dinner for Cuban food, saw the movie, “Yesterday,” and took our son on a tour of where we lived as a family of four before he joined us ten years later. I brought our daughters to his park nearly every day, so it was special to watch him enjoy it as well. It was a simple evening, totally my speed.
My husband’s card to me announced we had been married 9,490 days. I am so grateful he has come home to us that many nights, whether he felt like it or not, and I have done the same. And now we are 26.
*Neil Anderson’s Daily in Christ – Thursday, August 15, 2019
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