Friday, July 24, 2015

How We See Others

Often we view people in the light of our negative experiences or history. We think they’ve failed me in the past, they always do this, they never…” We believe the worst about them. Sometimes it’s important to ask ourselves, how do I see this person? Do I believe and hope the best in them and for them? Do I see them with the eyes of Jesus or my own limited sight?
We are called to see, believe, and hope the best in those around us. Even when they’ve disappointed us in the past, perhaps, especially, when they’ve disappointed us in the past.
The funny thing is, how we see others changes how we act toward them. When we know that everyone around is the beloved of Christ, we are more careful to act accordingly. Hoping the best in others can and will change our relationships with them, bring us all one step closer to redemption, breakthrough, healing, and love.  
Years ago, I was by all evidence a screw-up, but someone saw past all this, and chose to see me through the eyes of Christ. She said, “I had a vision of you and you were a holy woman of God.” These words have never left me. How we see people changes everything.
Who in our lives are we seeing falsely? Who do we need to take a better, different look at?  Let’s see that person the way Jesus does: his chosen, beloved in whom he has never given up hope on.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Loving the Most Annoying People in the World

We are all on a love journey. We’re in a process in which Jesus is teaching us how to love more selflessly, more radically, in essence – learning true love itself. 

Often we talk about loving our neighbors and that’s well and good, but friends, our neighbor is often closer than we think. They are our spouses, children, siblings, and parents. It can be so challenging to love those closest to us, because no one can hurt, aggravate, disappoint, or frustrate us more than those. 

The Bible says, put up with one another in love (Eph 4:2). This is a holy, righteous thing and it requires patience, forbearance, long suffering, and sacrifice. We can’t do this alone, it needs a divine action. God pours out his love in our hearts, so that we can love the most annoying people in the world – the very ones we love the most (and we’ve annoyed a few I’m sure).  

Thankfully, it’s often in those relationships in which we are required to give, and give further still, that God does his best work in us. We become more like Jesus. We are shaped into a more giving person. One who preserves in love and as St. Paul writes, “perservance leads to character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us (Rom 5:4). More than this, we have authentic relationships in which we experience, mutual, joy, faith and hope –a part of heaven on earth.
Most importantly we learn to love and this is the greatest reward there is, save one – that God loved us first and all this love is his eternal gift to us. 

Is there a person or situation in your life that is asking more of you than you thought possible? Are you trying your best to put up with each other in love, even when it is mind-blowingly difficult? You are not alone. He is with you and strengthening to love truly.
Blessings on the journey friends and as always, have a fabulous weekend with your loved ones!