And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:21)
Some people are harder to love than others. It’s common to find a few people in the world over our lifetime that simply drive us nuts. Sometimes this dislike can happen due to short conflict with strangers, but more often than not, the struggle stems from a time that we put our trust in someone and that person failed to come through. And as a result, the bitterness easily burns. I’ve had my fair share of disharmony over various relationships in my life, ones that I brewed over in my heart for far too long.
But we cannot love God and not love others. I’ve never felt filled with God’s Spirit after a quarrel with a friend or holy after sitting in my animosity over things in the past. In fact, the moments when I slow down in the midst of anger and talk with God, I become more empathetic and am quicker to come to a thoughtful response to the situation. Having allowed his own Son to die upon a cross for all my foolish sins and mistakes, God must understand the frustration I feel towards others. But rather than sit in it, God turns the other cheek and loves unconditionally. As we strive to become more like the people God intends for us to be, the harder it is to cling to distaste.
Free yourself from the burden of a grudge.
Shannon Nickerson is a recent graduate from Kingswood University, and current multimedia coordinator at her local church. She enjoys photography, teaching, and graphic design.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.