“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” – Matthew 5:46
It is so difficult to practise love; a love which doesn’t keep a record of the wrongs. God loves us even when we fail Him. He waits for us to repent. But what if we don’t repent? Does he abandon us? No. He still waits. He speaks to us in different ways and brings circumstances together for us to come to him. He disciplines us because He loves us just as an earthly father would discipline his child.
Similarly, when someone doesn’t behave with us in the best way, how do we respond? Do we speak to them bitterly and take revenge? Or do we honour God by taking the first step to reconcile remembering that Christ has done the same with us
When Jesus bore all our sins on the cross, he didn’t keep a record of our wrongs. If He, being the Son of Man can choose to forgive us from all our sins, we can choose to let go of our grudge and also forgive the one who has wronged us. How easy it is to love someone who is easy to love. The real challenge is to love someone who is difficult.
We can ask God for grace to not run away, but to keep displaying love towards that difficult-to-love person. Remember God’s grace over your sins. Ask God to give you the same grace to deal with the person. Find ways to bless them. Maybe by dropping in a text or catching up over coffee.
To respond to others in grace is not possible certainly by our own strength. We need to pray to God to help us show grace to difficult people in our lives. Pray to God to soften their hearts and work in them.
It is certainly difficult to love difficult people. But what is the reward in loving people who love us back? Love should not be based on our feelings rather it should flow from our heart, and in obedience to God’s command?
Lord, thank you for the grace you showered on us when we were still walking in the dark. Help us by your grace and intervention, to love people the way you loved us even when we were your enemies.