Love 'em Anyway
For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." Romans 13:9 NASB
I realized a harsh truth about myself this week. The word family has relatively no meaning to me. It does not excite me or invoke warm fuzzies for me. And that really hurt my heart. I do not distinguish my family from a person off the street and it is because of how a vast majority of my hurts and heartaches mostly stemmed from things caused by them. I pray that God delivers me from my hurt and pain and how I view my family. I wish that I had that exciting feeling associated with them, but I do not. Instead, I have adopted an extended, surrogate family comprised of friends and loved ones that God has blessed me with. But still the hole in my heart cries out for me to reconcile with them…what do I do then?
And God kept speaking to me this week, as thing after thing occurred to make me remember how I did not have the love I should have for my family. Even if they hurt me or use me, I should love them anyway. Even if they do not call me or I do not call them, I should love them anyway. Even if the only time I hear from them is when they need something, I should love them anyway. Even if they are the very ones to inflict hurt and strife into my life, I should love them anyway. I should love them as I love myself. But I asked God why and how and what? Why should I love people that do not love me? How can I should them love when I refuse to allow myself to share the same breathing room as them? What should I do to overcome the way I feel? And then several times this week, I saw devotions and was drawn to scriptures referencing Christ's act on the cross. Do we really know what happened when Jesus died for us on the cross–do we understand the punishment that was revoked, the condemnation that no longer exists, and eternal peace in which we share?
Walking in love is not an easy process. You must be willing to overlook the wrongs of others, especially your family. Sometimes the enemy tries to attack us most in life through injustices and injuries caused by those that are closest to us. I now realize that God has been pulling on my heart strings all week long about forgiveness, in some way or form. You may be saved by having accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior–but are you forgiven? Have you forgiven others as God instructs us to do time and time again? Are you living up to par with the scripture above–loving God, and loving your neighbors (and family) as yourself? For us to truly understand the monumental gift Christ gave us when He died on the cross, we have to be willing to set aside even the most painful things. In essence, like He did, we must love 'em anyway.
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" Matthew 5:44 KJV