Rained in most of the day today so I decided to write down some thoughts that have been swirling around my head. I've been so busy lately and haven't had much time at all to keep up with blogging. But the weather today gave me a perfect opportunity.
Getting along with people is a topic I know we could all use more work in. Some have mastered it more than others, but when it comes down to it we all have one, two, or maybe multiple people in our lives that we constantly seem to have trouble "putting up" with. (I know I do)
I really love people and I really love being around people.
But I, like anybody, often find myself complaining about the ones around me and their behavior. Sometimes because of character flaws and sometimes for things they do that aren't always "bad" but traits or tiny things that simply annoy me. (For some reason I ridiculously think everyone's personalities have to please me 24/7)
I saw a quote on Pinterest (Yes, I'm aware I mention at least one quote from Pinterest in most of my blog posts..)
that said "When you're about to lose patience with someone, remember how patient God has been with you all this time."
"If you forgive others when they sin against you, so your Heavenly Father will forgive you." (Matthew 6:14)
Forgiveness is a huge part in every friendship, relationship, and any kind of dealing with people. From the tiniest things to the biggest mistakes. Most friendships/relationships with people wouldn't last but a few weeks if forgiveness wasn't involved. We're human and we let people down. It's just what we do.
But outside of friendships, what about in our dealings with people we don't consider our friends? Or people that we once called friends but no longer do for various reasons?
A LOT of people after friendships or relationships that go down in flames, continue to talk about the faults in that other person, and due to lack of forgiveness, continue to reopen past wounds.
A couple days ago in my alone bible study time, I came across Romans 12:18. If you aren't familiar with the verse, it says
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."
Just think about that verse for a minute. As far as it depends on you.
Meaning, of course people don't always come around. Some people live to cause trouble, and sometimes it is necessary to cut people out of our lives. But that does not by any means give us the right to hold anger against them and make them look bad to others. They may not do their part correctly, but that doesn't dismiss us from our part whatsoever.
We are called to "love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us." (See Matthew 5:44)
Not hate our enemies and talk about those who persecute us. ;-)
I've been thinking a lot lately about what exactly it means for me to "love" my enemies. Because frankly, there's some people that I don't think I could ever think to myself "Wow, I love ____"
As I was thinking about this, I remembered the passage from 1 John 3:18 where John says "Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth."
Actions. No, I don't have to be in love with or even enjoy someone's company. But as far as it depends on me, I must try my hardest to do my part and live at peace with them, forgive them, and to pray for them. Regardless of how they act towards me. Easier said than done.
Whenever I've been in sticky situations, my mom has done a good job of reminding me of the verse from Romans. Reminding me to always do my part. This verse has been a very helpful reminder to me during difficult tiffs with people.
So try to remember that next time someone is failing to do their part and mistreating you.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with them.
Forgive them. Pray for them. Love them.
A closing quote (one of my favorites) from Martin Luther King.
"Let no man pull you low enough to hate him."
How does that help anything anyways?
Don't forget to do your part.