Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Loving Others

Loving people.

Lately, I feel like God is trying to tell me something about this subject.  It's like every bible verse I read or song I hear is about showing love towards others and forgiveness. I struggle with this way more than I used to. 

I used to be a people pleaser and desperately wanted everyone to like me.  Anytime I ever hurt anyone's feelings or something bad was said about me, I would seriously get so upset and would do anything to make things right.  My willingness to trust everyone would often allow others to take advantage of me.  

I'm not sure if it's because i'm a mom now, or I've just been burned one too many times, but I have definitely changed these past few years.  Sometimes I think I've changed too much and have put up a wall towards people and I simply just don't care anymore.  Don't get me wrong I love, love, love my friends and family, but what about those people who have done me wrong?  Do I love them?  Do I show them forgiveness?  What about people I don't know?  Do I show them the kind of love I should?  

Yes, I think we should always show kindness and love to others, even those when you just want to say "Shut up, no one cares what you think!" every time they open their mouth (yes, I have one particular person I have to deal with on a daily basis that I just want to scream that to every time they say something.  Wrong?  Absolutely.  I'm just keepin' things real.)  It's really hard at times to be nice when someone has done something to hurt you, but that's where the whole forgiveness thing comes in.  I know I have thought I have forgiven someone, but then I find myself saying bad things about that person, or wanting revenge in some sort of way.  You know, I want them to learn their lesson.  So, have I really forgiven them?  If i'm still dwelling on it, then no, I haven't.  I need to just get over myself and just show them Christ's love.  I don't think forgiving someone means you have to be bff.  In my opinion, it just means not dwelling on the past and instead focusing on a better relationship in the present.  

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15

I've definitely learned that I can't put my trust in other people the way I used to.  We are all born with a sinful nature and we all screw up at times.  It's okay to put up boundaries with people.  You aren't meant to be friends with everyone. God made us all differently with unique personalities and not everyone is going to get a long.  I've accepted the fact that not everyone will like me and I will not like every one else.  Some people just clash.  That's life.  Just because we are different doesn't give us the excuse to be mean and hateful towards each other though.  

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  Matthew 22:36-39
Walking right past someone you know without even a smile or a friendly "hello" is not showing Christ's love to them (no matter who it is).  Instead, it's giving the other person the impression that you are rude and simply don't care or that you think you are better than them.  Even though I'm not really concerned with what people think about me anymore, I still want my focus to be so much on the Lord, that His love just shines through me.  I definitely don't want to be known as a hateful person. 

I have found myself trying to pray for those who I don't get along with (and how I respond to them) instead of just opening my mouth and saying something I shouldn't.  Not only have I become less of a "people pleaser" in the last couple of years, but I have also become more vocal and have been speaking my mind a lot more.  Sometimes this isn't a good thing! Haha!  

I'm not sure if any of you are currently dealing with this, but these were just the thoughts that have been running through my head lately and I thought I would share :)

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