Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wednesday's with Beth

What a way to wake up! Before I had my cup of java, before I brushed my teeth, Beth was on my TV (remember--James Robison, Life Today, Wednesday's with Beth!) speaking directly to me about learning to love difficult people in my life. What a wake up call!

In this morning's challenge to love the someone who drives you crazy, Beth reminded me of the enormous amount of Scripture that mandates the importance of love (I John 4: 7-21; I Corinthians 13:2; Luke 6: 23-25 just for starters). Now, I have no problem loving my family--I mean LOVE my family. You know LOVE; the-make-you-feel-warm-all-over-kinda-feeling! But Beth is talking about loving your enemy, or the person who duh-rives---you cuh-razy! You know that kind of love; the make-you-feel-hot-inside-and-out-kinda-feeling! Beth says, "The kind of person, that when they leave, you just want to eat a lot!"

Now, I know you know the kind of person we're talking about; for as Beth insists, "If there is NOT someone in your life that is difficult to love, you are not getting out enough!" That person who is boastful, arrogant, self-centered, or, as Beth, explains, "globe-headed, THEY are the world." It may be our neighbor, our employer, our sibling, our spouse. For the parents of a prodigal--it may be our own child.

Realizing that this thought alone may be better processed with a clean set of teeth followed by a hot cup of caffeine, I put TiVo on pause, brushed my teeth and brewed a fresh pot of coffee. The aroma alone energized my fatigue and I grabbed my Bible from my nightstand, pushed play on TiVo...and discovered a fresh perspective and renewed energy in Luke 6: 32-36.

It's easy to love those who love us and those we love. But how well do we love the difficult person in our life? Do you justify like I do? Do you lower the bar, like I do, and respond in kind? Or do you love them as God has loved you? Beth's challenge to me this morning is simple: "You will never look more like your Heavenly Father than when you love the unlovely." That's what Luke 6: 32-36 is all about. Even sinners love those who love them, even sinners do good to those who do good to them; it is when we love our enemies, do good to them, when we are merciful to that difficult person in our life that we model who Jesus really is!

Now, I love when the instructions are simple! Live well? Love well! Model Jesus? Love the unloveable! No, I didn't say the doing would be easy--but the plan is perfect! To model Jesus, we don't need a degree in theology, a flowing robe, or a Pastoral title; we simply need an open heart. One that is willing to accept the challenge and learn from the example of the One who first loved us! Unloveable us! What mercy we have been shown, "But God demonstrate[d] his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

I accept the challenge; starting today, I will love well, whether the lovely or the unloveable--it makes no difference. NO! It makes a huge difference. For as Jesus taught--"what credit is that to you?" I want to make a difference....in the way I love, the way I am loved (is it possible, I am the someone that drives someone cuh-razee!) , and the way I model Jesus. Will you join me? Will you help me? Hold me accountable to do the tough business of loving even when it doesn't come naturally! And I will do the same.


21 comments:

Kristen said...

Oh, Diane...did you really have to issue me that challenge today!?! ;-) I have a couple of people who are very difficult to love. One of whom I see on a regular basis; my step-sons biological mother. If there were anyone in the world who is almost impossible to love, it is her. I'm learning better to tolerate her; to love her is going to take work. But I will try. :-)

Faith said...

It can be so hard to love the seemingly unlovable! My mom is one of those people. I do love her, but boy it can be a challenge sometimes!
Great post!

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Kristen :)

I know--it's not an easy challenge....it's gonna take some moment by moment leaning on Him...and prayer power!

Maybe today's challenge was just for me. However, if you feel the same conviction--know that we're in this together! Makes "misery loves company" pretty real--doesn't it!

What better goal tho--to show even the most unloveable people...the love, not of ourselves....but of Jesus!

Bless you!

Diane

Heather Smith said...

There are people like this in my life. And I am guilty of "lowering the bar." The thing is that I can't control the way they are, but I can control the way I am, and I am commanded to love my enemies. Very challenging, Diane! Thanks, I needed this!

Morning Glory said...

Hard stuff to live by so much of the time. Great post, Diane. Sometimes I think the only way to love the unloveable is to pray for them. Somehow it gets harder and harder to feel ugly toward someone you're praying for. It also begins the process of releasing them from your angry space.

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Brilliant point Morning Glory!

Diane

MugwumpMom said...

Excellent post! Loved it! Learning to how to love involves so much...including forgiveness, and nonjudgement...and it's sometimes sooo difficult. This is what I'm going through right now with my mother. What has been resonating in me during the struggle is an awareness that our own (my) sin nature is soooo self deceptive and self protective, especially against those we find difficult. So, when it comes to those people, we (I) really are looking into a glass darkly...we (me) don't see our own reflection clearly and so we don't see our own junk, but boy, am I quick to see the junk in another. No wonder Jesus said "take the beam out of your own eye, then you can clearly see the speck in your brother's eye". If I see mom's speck through the distorted lenses of my beam, then I'll never see her as loveable. My beam can be unforgiveness, resentment, judgement...you name it. I believe that loving another always begins with an honest look inside at the condition of our own hearts.

aggiejenn said...

I watched today, too (she comes on at 1pm here). It is a challenge to love those people, but it is what we are called to do. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Such wisdom in your comments! Thank you for leaving your thoughts--I have learned:

I am not alone in this challenge.

Difficult people come in all shapes and sizes!

Praying for our challenging people softens our hearts for them.

I can not control any one other than myself!

I must work on my perspective--get the beam out of my eyes!

You each have blessed me!

Diane

dawn said...

What station is she on?

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Dawn,

I don't know what station James Robison is on everywhere.....His show, Life Today, is on channel 41 here in Mpls. BUT, I don't know what station that would be on Direct TV or Cable...or Satellite TV. So, maybe check Life Today (go back to my last Wednesday's post for the link).....I know they have a Television network outline somewhere on their website. But in Minnesota--James Robison is on every a.m. at 7:30 a.m. on channel 41. James' features Beth on Wednesday's...hence...Wednesday's with Beth!

Diane

Praying for your Prodigal said...

P.S.......here's the address

http://www.lifetoday.org/site/PageServer?pagename=tel_stationguide

jessica said...

I will have to check it out... Thanks for sharing!

Emily said...

Your post spoke so much to me today. Thank you for the insight. I've only been married just under two years, and as that intoxicating warm-fuzzy feeling is beginning to wear out, it turns out we're thousands of miles away from each other. I love that you stressed to love like Jesus we need an open heart -- that means one that is willing to be hurt. I think it's such a sign that I'm lacking trust when I jump to put my arms around my heart and say, "Em, you'll get burned if you love that much."
Thank you for reminding me that's how much God wants me to love. It's as sweet as the rain today!!

Jan said...

Oh DiaNE, DO I HAVE TO?
Sigh. Okay. I already know the answer. Thanks for the reminder!

tam said...

This is sooo goood...I have heard her (Beth) preach on loving those "unloveable" types.

The other side of the coin I gained from that type of message was that sometimes that person is not driving you nuts so that you can help them...they maybe allowed to be driving you nuts so that THEY can get help YOU!

You know, move up and inside the robes of Christ a bit more intimately by testing our willingness to love in spite of them.

THAT was a reality checker for me!

This was a great post...Thank you Diane!

Carol said...

Wow! Thank you for this post. It was very timely as I have my own difficult person outside of my family.

Diane said...

I have a long way to go with this one, Diane. God is dealing with me, and we have made progress in this area, and I am seeing the fruit of my labors, Praise the Lord. :-)

Thank you for the reinforcement, and for allowing God to speak through you here. :-)

Dionna Sanchez said...

Good thoughts! I was loving Wednesdays with Beth until school got out on Friday and now I'm sleeping in! :) HA
Too bad I missed this one though - your thoughts (and hers) are so challenging. The only part I disagree with is in loving someone who means you and your family physical or emotional harm. I believe in that instance - God asks us to stay away from them and I pray for a shield of protection over my family. I have people who have always meant my family emotional harm and seperation. I do not think I should be mean to them - but I do think I should pray for God to "contend with those who contend against me."

C. H. Green said...

You have TiVo? Wow. And lest you think I missed the whole point, I read every word, and I was convicted by it. Will have to work on this area of my life. thanks.

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