Welcome to the new edition of my “GoodLife Sunday” posts! 🙂 I realized it’s hard for me to do them over the weekend, and plus the lessons faith can teach us pop up all the time, not just on Sundays 😉 Before I begin, please remember that GoodLife posts and lessons are not meant to be preachy. I hope to share things I have learned through my own journey with Christ as well as discussions that weighed on my heart from the Sunday class I lead or sermons I attend or even songs I hear. I think there is something for all of us to take away from these posts, no matter our beliefs, so I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy sharing them. 🙂
That leads us to today. This afternoon, I went to the park to meet up with a friend. The weather was gorgeous – sunny and in the 70s. There was lots to talk about with my friend and the opportunity to see Makenzie having all sorts of fun playing in the park. Now, this situation would not always have been so enjoyable. Why? Mainly because a few years ago I would not have chosen to spend time just the two of us if I could avoid it. I was hesitant to grow a friendship with her then solely because of some of her more abrasive qualities – she likes to gossip about other friends, perhaps enjoys creating drama, will hold a grudge, and can be manipulative to have things work out best for her. Today I realized that yesterday’s sermon applied to my relationship with her and how thankful I am to be able to know God’s love and experience it in my own heart.
The youth pastor led our sermon yesterday in church, discussing a missions trip he had recently taken where he encountered a pretty unlovable little girl upon first impressions. She was dirty, rude, smelled very badly, would not follow directions, impulsive, exhausting, and the list went on. He thought of her as “Ratty Girl”.
He then went on to describe how she was so “bad” that she took up all of his energy in trying to keep her out of trouble and that he approached it very negatively…until a fellow pastor praised him for showing love and spending time with one of the children that needed to be shown affection and cared for the most. Ouch! That probably hurt the conscience a bit.
Well instead of feeling guilty or continuing in his negative mood, he chose to take a lesson from it. That there are people in our lives – friends, family members, coworkers, roommates, or maybe fellow bloggers even, that can rub us the wrong way.
It is easier to dislike them or avoid them than to reach out and embrace them with the love of God. We are meant to be God with skin on and none of us are perfect. Not a single one. We ALL have qualities that we are not proud of or perhaps we are even unaware of that are not too good. What are we to do? Look past the negative and focus on the positive in others. Treat others the way we want to be treated. Love our neighbor as ourself. That doesn’t mean we have to condone something harmful in another person, but it does mean we are no one to judge and that we should share the love. And reaching out in love to them could maybe even lead to a friendship where you can enjoy a sunny day in the park. 😉