Just the other day I was talking to Lucy about loving people even if you don’t like them. It’s much easier to be nice to someone who is nice to you. Lucy said (with hand on hip) “well if she’s mean to me then I’ll be mean to her” and I told her that the people who are mean are usually the ones who need people to be nice to them the most and that God calls us to Love everyone.
Galations 5:13-15 says
13-15 It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?
Biting and ravaging each other- what a picture! Annihilating each other!
Unfortunately that is the reality of it. When defenses go up and people get hurt it can get ugly really quickly. We can “annihilate” each other with our words and actions.
Years ago when my grandfather died a court case ensued over his will that included over 100 acres of land and a beautiful home in the Catskill mountains in NY. For years the battle between his children and his girlfriend blazed over this land.
During that time I learned a lot about conflict. I had to be very mindful of my words because the topic was so sensitive in my family. Although I had many opinions and thoughts I needed to hold my tongue. Yet at the same time I had to be honest and loving. It was a tight rope to walk, and very painful at times.
If all parties involved had placed each others interests above their own then who knows, maybe the outcome would have been better for all involved.
Truly I have found that loving others the way I want to be loved (as imperfect as that is) is better. Making a conscience effort to be considerate and loving and tactful saves us a lot of heartache and unnecessary pain. It’s very practical- its very loving- an excellent prescription for life. Love others as you love yourself.