It is so much easier to stay angry, peeved or put out. It helps us walk through the problem with a sense of self righteousness…. get that? “Self” + “Right.”
Clearly, as noted in the clip above of Jesus in the Passion of The Christ it is that very human choice which we are advised is NOT right. This truth was brought into sharp focus for me the other day in regard to someone I work with.
You see several years ago, a colleague and I had a major falling out due to a business situation.
As it turned out it was eventually “resolved” with no loss to the company, but what was really lost was the working and trusting relationship with this person.
Within a week of the issue, (though to be honest I had a very hard heart), I felt God convicting me to call and talk it through it with them. I did it. It was hard and though “relative peace” was established, I never trusted this person as a team member again.
Fast forward a few years and I receive an urgent text that my colleague needed immediate assistance, details and information due to time sensitive situation. Out of the spirit of good business, I helped and the urgency passed.
One year from that point as corporate life would have it, I learned that this person was going to be a team partner. Oh yay, right?
It has not escaped my attention that as I look back over the series of events just described, God’s proddings and pushing on me was to put me in a different relationship with this person and within my job. What I have learned from this friend now is that negative incident of years gone by actually resulted in appreciation….for my knowledge, thankfulness for my approach in resolution and respect for stepping up to help in the past.
Now let me make it clear to this point that none of the positive actions I took in the past were of me really. I just faked it because I knew I was being convicted and submitting to God’s prodding is much more comfortable than feeling His convictions (which won’t let up, trust me on that)….
So a few days ago, during a phone meeting with my colleague, I queried why they have been canceling our scheduled meetings so often? Stunningly, my colleague shared with me several very serious things occurring in their personal life. They have been through about 18 months of personal hell! I actually felt tears come into my eyes. My heart was hurting for them and we talked frankly about what they shared with me. As a woman and a parent – I am truly crushed. I told my friend I will pray for them – for the entire situation.
I knew I was really taking a chance in offering prayers as I don’t know what they believe or not but it is a natural outpouring from my heart and though slightly intimidated – I just blurted it out. My friend was taken aback, in a very positive way and thanked me sincerely.
Since that time I have checked in with them – life is still very upside down – but God knew this was coming and I would dare to say that He wants me to not only pray for my friend and their family – but to show what those prayers, acts of love, may mean to them in the future.
A few years ago I never felt or thought anything positive about this person. But Jesus is clear in His guidance that we must CHOOSE to love our enemies. Agape love. Mind over matter. Obedience over emotion. God’s will over our own.
We are reminded in scripture that hearts can be won over to the Kingdom when people actually see and experience the love of God through the hands and feet (and essentially) prayers of His followers. It occurs to me that to pray for someone is the ultimate act of love and as the number one question human beings ask if themselves or God is,”What am I here for?” I think the answer is this:
We are here to love…and in that Who Do You Love is not meant to be a shortlist.
It’s to be as long and wide and deep as the love of God….and that is limitless.
Amen and Amen.
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. ” Ephesians 3:14-20