Day 10 – Love Your Enemies

It’s really easy to “love our enemies” in theory. I mean, for the most part we can generally avoid being around them. So what if you have a falling out with some of your old high school friends and then go your separate ways. You don’t have to see them anymore, you can choose not to ask about them and pretty much distance yourself from them entirely. Piece of cake.

Not that avoidance is a healthy answer but when it happens naturally it certainly makes “loving our enemies” easier.

But what about those people you see every day? The ones who just rub you the wrong way? The people who are a lot harder to love.

Whether you are a follower of Jesus or not, this idea is a valuable one. Yes it is biblical, but the truth is, hating people spreads misery and allows bitterness to fester inside of you. To love others is to be free and joyful so why not follow this principle?

I was reminded of this today. To love. Here are some compelling reasons I am trying to hold onto on days like this when it’s more difficult:

1)      Loving people will make me happier. Sound a bit selfish? Maybe it is. But to love others is to take the focus away from my own frustration  and shift it to the outside. My husband often jokes with me because he’ll leave me alone for a bit and inevitably I end up having all kinds of crazy ideas, new worries, irritations, stress and more. He tells me I can never be left alone for long. It’s true that when we have too much time to focus on ourselves we get stuck in our own thoughts and often lose perspective. Focus on others. Love others. You’ll be a happier person.

2)      Loving people will make others happier. Love is contagious. So is joy. Entire atmospheres can be improved when people are willing to let things go and focus on the positive.

3)      “To love another person is to see the face of God.” I learned this from “Les Miserables.” Isn’t it true though? God is love. So, to love others is to show them a taste of God. And a chance to experience His goodness for ourselves.

4)      Loving people sets a good example. It’s not that I’m suggesting you try to impress people or appear better than you are. But just like point #2, when you’re loving and accepting, others might see your example and strive for that as well. Especially if you have children or are a leader.

5)      Loving your enemies builds character. I feel like I am in a serious character-building time in my life right now. Let me tell you, it is not easy and it is not fun. But I am learning how to be a more patient person, more loving, more prayerful and did I mention more patient?

 

Tomorrow I’ll get into some “how-to’s” but hopefully by now you’re convinced that even though it can be hard, choosing to love is always the better option.

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