We all have our faults, and as my older daughter says, have “cracked pots”. It is terribly hard to love someone in Jesus “agape” love. Not, just say I love you..but, mean it from the bottom of your heart, even when this person has hurt you over and over again. You forgive them repeatedly, but, loving them gets really hard. It’s not their faults and sins that get in the way (at least not with me), its the fact that they refuse to repent and really change from their sinful ways. I love as a mother as I should, but, that “agape” love of Jesus is a challenge. Sometimes, these people can push your buttons, and just charge at you, and all you want is space and your peace and quiet. Has anyone ever been there? This is the time when I loose my patience, that I need to get on my face before God and ask that my heart be changed.
About 10 years ago, I had a study in this, and I still had it saved, from June 2004. It begins, “Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God IS love. And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (mother-father) I John 4:7-8-21 You can’t love God and not someone that hurt you. It’s a misconception; love is uncontrollable; that is not true. You CAN control who you love and don’t love. And some choices require painful decisions. Sometimes you must decide, God’s desire for me, or my own free will? Which of the two will I follow? Love is an ACTION, I John 3:18 “Let us not love with words or tongue but with ACTION & TRUTH.” You can’t love someone from a DISTANCE… not just talk…its not just a “feeling”. Love isn’t love unless its given away. LOVE IS ALSO ACTION. It is doing for someone else. Giving ones self, in sacrifice to someone hurting, not things, not a pat on the head. God wants our hearts! Loving someone you don’t like or agree with is very hard.
You need to experience God’s love yourself. “I pray that Christ will be more at home in your heart, living within you as you trust Him. May your roots go deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love and may you be able to feel and understand how long, wide, deep and high His love really is and experience this love for yourselves.” Ephesians 3:17-18 Unloving people who are unloved and selfish and wallow, only are hurting themselves. A divided heart is a RESENTFUL heart. Forgive others who have hurt you. “Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Col 3:13 “Love others as I have loved you.” John 13:35. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you forgive not men their trespasses , neither will God forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15. You can’t LOVE YOUR KIDS, IF YOU HATE YOUR MOTHER OR FATHER! Your staying in the past..LET GO!
I really struggle with this from some who constantly brings up the past when I got divorced many years ago. Some constantly bring up the past from 40 years ago. It is over and done with. I was 30 when her father’s girlfriend was on my doorstep, who he would not give up. That pain for me never left. Then losing my youngest son to suicide 10 years ago, is another pain in my heart, that hurt so badly, I had a mini stroke after I buried him. At 70, now, I fight every day against depressive thoughts from a legitimate pain in my heart. My daughters do not understand how that kind of pain, and uncaring, can affect the elderly. I even looked up online to find out that there is actually a “broken heart syndrome”. The actual pains in the heart from hurts, false accusations, and death, can actually affect the heart. I am more than a cracked pot, I am damaged goods. I leave it all at the Cross. But, it is therefore, very hard for me with anxiety to be a loving person. I can’t change the past, I can’t change another, I can only with God’s help, and deep prayer, change myself. You think loving thoughts….”Don’t just think about your own affairs and SELF, but be interested in others too, and in what THEY are doing. Your ATTITUDE should be the same kind that was shown to us by Jesus Christ.” Philippians 2:4-5. Paradox: Those who deserve your love the least are those who need it most!
Hurt people HURT OTHER PEOPLE..Focus on NEEDS and hurts that are in THEIR life…OUR ACTIONS MUST BE A WITNESS TO GOD! Begin acting in a loving way. It is way easier to act MY WAY into a feeling than it is to FEEL my WAY into an action. ” Love your enemies , do good to those who hate you , bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28 That too, is really hard, when you have been so hurt by others. You put a wall of distrust up around you, and it isn’t that you lash out to them so, but, you don’t want to be hurt again. The only one who can tear down these walls is the Lord. Five things we need to do to people who hurt us: 1. Love them. “Love your enemies. Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other because of your love. ” Ephesians 4:2. 2. Do good to them. You can give without loving gut you cannot love without GIVING. Love is to be given away. AND the past is in the past…Under the blood at Calvary..Dead and buried! Jesus has washed the past clean! His Crucifixion has blotted out all iniquity. 3. Bless those who curse you.” 4. Pray for them. Choose the WAY you want to respond, when someone hurts you. You hurt back, your reacting. You don’t control, when you react the Christian way is not to hurt back, but, to face the other person and respond as Jesus would have you do.
However, there are times as I wrote once, when even though you love this person, you have to let go for a time. Letting go and letting God is not reacting in a way to hurt back, but, to let God work in their lives, and get out of God’s way. There is a difference. “Love is patient, love is kind, love does not envy, love does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered. LOVE KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS…IT DOES NOT BRING UP THE PAST, CONTINUALLY WEARING DOWN A RELATIONSHIP. I Cor. 13:4-5 Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. Love ALWAYS protects. If one person is experiencing fear, and anxiety, then they were not given love. Love always trusts. If you cannot trust a person, and you know they have love/hate towards you, it is not a healthy love. That person needs help. Love always hopes. Love always perseveres. THAT kind of love never fails. I Cor. 13:6-8. Help me Lord be a more loving person. How we all fail so miserably. Expect the BEST from them. “If you love someone you will always believe in him (her) , and always expect the best of them.” I Cor. 13:7 Labeling only REINFORCES the negative, it never changes anyone, yet, when the same things keep coming up in accusations for 25 years that person doing the accusing needs help. They are not living in Christ. They only add fuel to the fire. Treat them as you would want to be treated. Learn how to TAKE CORRECTION WITHOUT TAKING OUT OF CONTEXT! Going off the deep end on “feeling’s” is NOT Godly, Neither is constantly bringing up the past which cannot be changed!
“Moreover if your brother hurts you, go and tell him his fault between you and he alone. If he shall hear you, thou has gained a brother in my name. But, if he will NOT hear you, then take with you one or two more that in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word may be established. If they REFUSE to listen, tell it to the church, let him be unto me as a heathen man and a publican.” Matthew 18:15-17. Refusal to act in God’s way is a rebellious, having an unteachable spirit against Jesus and a hardened heart. You cannot love God and be a Christian if your heart is hardened towards another. Study 1 Cor. 13, the Love Chapter. Help us all Father God, come to the Cross and bear our own pain, sins, and hurt, and leave them all with you to heal. Thank you Jesus for your healing touch. Take away the “empty” feelings, sadness and anxiety, take away lack of energy, physical back pain, loss of interest in normal activities, sleep problems, tears, feelings of guilt, helplessness, and feeling worthless, being irritable, and any thoughts of death. Help all those who are as me, broken vessels, that just want to be loved. Thank you Jesus for loving us unconditionally. Amen
*Excerpts of this came from a study from a Pastor Manning in 2004, and from my book “Restoration Road, copyright 2004