Love God. Love People.

The simple message of the Bible is to Love God and Love People. Easy to say, short to type, harder to live out. Why so? People can be difficult. Recently a friend and I were discussing a sticky relationship she is in and how it takes effort to love. I’m sure that can be said of anyone of us, right?

We all have our own quirks, our own strong personality bits, and our own way of thinking we are right and it’s others who have it mucked up somewhat. What if we had a  little more grace? What if we considered how to love that difficult person in our lives the same way we seek to be accepted and received?

I’m not sure why this message has been so heavy on my  heart. I see so many social media posts with people blasting on one another, sharing their opinion or the latest way they were offended by some stranger. What if we asked each other, “How can you love in this hard moment?” It may not always be the question we want to hear. In fact, 99% of the time when I’m venting I want to be justified, feel verification that I am correct and the other person is agreeing on my side. What if we challenged each other to love even with the hard effort it sometimes take.

Perhaps it is in your workplace, that difficult co-worker who is rude to almost everyone. What’s her story? Even if you don’t know it what ways can you find to show her love?

Maybe it is in your family with an extended member that you see only around the Holidays and they are always loud and clear with their personal opinions and advise for everyone on every branch of the family tree. How can you love them in the kind words you reply and the way you see them and not just their presentation of words?

I’ve heard from many of you that the Holidays can be tough times, missing loved ones, reminded of broken relationships and heightened emotions as the stresses of the season drown out the true purpose. How can we love other people when we all could use a little more?

I’m taking some time to ask God what that looks like in my own life. This past Sunday our church sang a beautiful song which has echoed in my brain all week, “Jesus be the center of it all…” That is a big HOW for me these last couple days, How do I love others? When Jesus takes center stage, when I remember that He loves me despite all my flaws, when I remind myself that all my good deeds crumble in a pile of dust next to him, then I can simply love others from the place inside that tells me I’m loved and can give it generously.

Love God. Love people. How is that challenging in your current season? Who is God asking you to love even when it’s rough? How are others loving you well? Praying this Thanksgiving you might rest a little deeper in His deep deep love over you and share a little more love with the ones you bump into each day.

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