One issue that has been on my heart over the past few months is, what we choose to focus upon and how that effects our daily living. I wanted to look at people who make the choice to be miserable, I do not mean people who struggle emotionally and who suffer with depression. What I want to look at is people who makes the choice to see the worst in everything. Who are normally found to be bitter, miserable and jealous. These are normally people who have been hurt in the past. They may never have had someone to help them through their troubles or who have manifested that hurt and have put up such a strong defence, that no one is allowed to love them.
It can be very easy in this present age to become a bitter and negative person. I want to go back to our roots, look at living a life of love. Although we cannot make people choose how they want to live their life. We can show love, grace and hope through our own lives. May we be an example of the life that is found through the salvation through Jesus. That regardless of what we may come up against, that the truth of who God is and what he says never fails.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
How do we live a life of love?
You have to remember that you cannot do this in your own strength. As a human we are not perfect, I know for a fact I can get easily irritated with people. Sure, I can be loving and kind but if someone is testing me, I am not afraid to bite back. Which ends up making it a completely negative experience.
Whereas, with prayer and with guidance you can begin to control these emotions.
Eric Ludy ‘Don’t pray that God would teach you like he loves, pray that he would fill you with himself and that he would love through… If you try and imitate in your own strength, you will be a miserable replica.’
I would agree with Eric Ludy and I believe this truth drops a load of weight from us. How many times have you felt like you have failed because you did not love someone as you intend to? Have you lost your temper when all you wanted was to bring peace to a situation? We are messy and imperfect; how can we expect to have these characteristics of Christ in our won strength?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that surpassing power belongs to God and not us.
Remembering that we are vessels and if we are willing the Spirit can work powerfully through us. There has to be this willingness. If you look at the fruit of the spirit, they are all characteristics that come from one fruit. It is so important to remember that you cannot do it in your own strength.
Some of the most miserable people you will meet can be found within the church. They will criticise and moan about anything that does not meet with their standards. I think sometimes people get so stuck in their ideas of how faith is meant to look. That they do not allow the spirit to move, that idleness leads to death. This is what the Pharisees were guilty of, their hardness of heart blinded them to the truth that was right in front of them. It also led them to become apathetic to the real need and struggle of those around them, which is something that can be easily found within the church.
Loving people who are miserable.
One important point to remember is it is not your responsibility to change that person. At the end of the day, that decision comes down to them. However, as Christ followers we know how blessed we are to be shown mercy and grace. As we have known grace, it is our responsibility to share it too.
A little bit of grace goes a long way. Throwing anger back in someone else’s face, really does fuel the fire. Sometimes it is just about being willing to spend time within their company, obviously in a way in which you feel comfortable to do so. Even listening to a few of their grievances, offering support where it is needed. Just because someone is mean and bitter, does not mean that they do not deserve love.
‘Those hardest to love, need it most.’ Lauren Aquilina
I am always amazed at the kindness that Bob Cratchit shows Scrooge, who is a horrible man in every sort of form. Even though Cratchit was criticised for it, he kept showing Scrooge kindness. There is a lot we can learn from this, that we may look odd in being kind. However, this is who we are called to be. We are called to bring light to people who have been in the dark for a long time.
It is may be harder to live a life of love, than it is to go about moaning and grumbling about someone who is miserable and unkind. Showing love and grace where you can, helps to bring light into people’s life who may have only known harshness. Jesus sacrificed his life so that we could all be saved, none of us are better than each other. Some of us may be able to deal with life a little better but none of us are perfect. Compassion is so greatly needed in our society today. Remember you are not doing this on your own, with the strength of Jesus you can accomplish so much.
May you have a blessed week. Look after yourself and keep growing in the faith. Victoria xx