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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Forgive, Forget and Love In Spite Of.

Sometimes it's really hard to be nice to people. Sometimes you meet someone that you just don't like. Maybe it's their language, maybe it's their humor, maybe it's the job they have. For whatever reason, sometimes we don't like people we meet. And...that's okay. But, I believe, that we're to always love them.
Liking someone and loving someone are two completely diffeent things. Two completely different feelings. We were never commanded to like someone, to be their buddy. We were commanded, however, to love one another. We're to pray for one another. We're to do unto others as we'd have done unto ourselves.
I have found one thing to be true. I have found that the more I pray for a person, the more I appreciate them.
An example: I had a good friend a few years ago that I did a lot with. She lives on the same block as I do, our kids were always together, we spent a lot of time together. One day, I was told by a 'well meaning friend' that this good friend of mine had been talking about me, saying very hostile and untrue things about me. I was crushed. For a few days I told this friend that I just couldn't talk to her and that when I could, I'd call her. After a few days, I called her. She couldn't deny what she'd said, she was very embarassed for having been caught in this web. Though I still loved her, I couldn't continue to spend time with her. I prayed for her daily and still do. When I pass her driving, I wave. When we run into each other I always smile and say hello. I hold nothing against this person, but I chose not to continue spending time with her. I have peace about how I handled this. My friend, however, will not wave or speak to me. This is her choice. We've taken very different roads in the years we've distanced ourselves. Our children have turned out very differently. I can see, now, that it was something that was inevitable. It was a hard lesson to learn. I could have chosen to react in a hostile manner, to have confronted her immediately without prayer. I could have chosen to judge her, to speak ill of her rather than to have continued to love her. Granted...I'll be very up front and say that I don't like this person very much. Our lifestyles have turned out very differently, as have our ways of parenting. But after all these years, my kids have never heard me say a bad thing about this person, they see me always being friendly to her and have heard me offer to help her when she has needed it. It's not because I 'like' her, but I choose to follow God's command to love her and to 'do unto her as I'd have her do unto me'.

I thank you, Lord, for the people you have brought into my life who have overlooked my shortcomings and have loved me in spite of them. I thank you for the people who prayed for me, who lifted my name up to You when I turned my back on You, when I followed after my own lusts instead of following You. Because of Your love that they showed me, I have come to know You and the love You have for me. I pray, Father, that I may be able to repay the kindness that was shown to me by showing it to others. Being a vehicle of Your love is the greatest desire of my heart.
I pray that I will be a blessing to those I meet today. I ask that I be sensitive to the leading and guiding of Your Holy Spirit. I pray that you would bless any one that may come across this prayer today and that they would know the wonder of Your love. I ask you to forgive me of my shortcomings, Lord, and thank You that You see me for what I have the potential of being.
In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.