No way, I do not have anyone I know who is difficult, I am so good with relationships….Self denial at its peak!
I vividly recall the fairy tales that were read to us at bedtime, I am reminded even today, of the strange pattern emerging in a bunch of the stories and I am sure you do too!
Cinderella’s life was made hell by a wicked stepmother, with her two evil stepsisters in tow. In Hansel and Gretel, the two kids were thrown into the woods by an evil stepmom. Snow White, too, seemed to have her own selection of stepmother problems as well.
After the early exit of my mom from her earthly journey, my dad was encouraged by many to be married again. I guess the fairy tales provoked me to only see this act as described and that wickedness would follow. And sure enough, I found it very hard to accept my dad’s decision and his wife. I just found them both to be very difficult in my view.
It’s easy to look at the fault of other people whom I consider as difficult, but I must be reminded that I can also be difficult to love too! Luke 6:31-35 reminds us that God’s people ought to be different in ‘how’ and ‘who’ we love! We were not commanded to “tolerate our enemies”, instead He said “love your enemies, answer hatred with love and “do good” even to our enemies! LOVE is an ACTION WORD!
God gave us the Ten Commandments to follow, but the Jewish leaders made it so complicated. They became so legalistic that they expanded it to 613 laws, broken down to 365 “do not do” negative commands and 248 “do” positive commands. A lawyer therefore, asked Jesus a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
The answer was simple, the greatest law, or the law above all laws is to love God! If we love God, then we are to love our neighbour!
Loving others is easy, loving difficult people is not a command.Self denial continues to remain at its peak!
Family members can be very difficult. Workmates are super difficult and ‘TOXIC’. An awesome boss is so hard to find! I have personally experienced difficult, heartless, unreasonable supervisors who made it clear and documented that I was worthless or useless. Despite knowing that I am no easy person to be loved and, I may be totally deserving this, yet, trying to love such difficult persons was and is a challenge! However, I am called to ‘love them’ and this is a command indeed!
- Am I patient, kind, not envious or boastful, not arrogant, not rude?
- Am I not insistent on getting my way, not irritable or resentful?
- Do I not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoice in the truth?
- Do I bear, believe, hope and endure in all things?
- Based on honest self-assessment, am I a loving person, or am I difficult to love?
As I write, I am thinking about how I have treated those I find difficult to love? My thoughts take me to my family, my co-workers, my authorities in church, my workplace, my government. I have a lot of repentance to make because I am commanded to Love others if I truly love my God.