"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Friday, June 11, 2010

Are you willing to overlook a person's bad to love their good?

My email devotion (I posted the link there-- I love this morning email and have been so blessed by it, I thought you might like to sign up too) left me this morning to weigh my thoughts on this question-- Am I willing to take the good with the bad in people who have been made in God's image?

Sharon Jaynes wrote today's devotion and she gave some examples about how Jesus took the bad with the good in His disciples and loved them, flaws and all. She mentioned impetuous Peter, bossy Martha, loud Andrew, and doubting Thomas and how even though they were very devoted believers and friends of Jesus, they had some character flaws.

Do you see any of those flaws in yourself? I do, as a matter of fact I could fit every one of those categories. At times I have all of those flaws, but I am truly devoted to Christ. He accepts me, and since I am devoted to Him, I must do like He does and accept people for the good and the bad in them.

Do you know anyone who does not have a bad side? I know one lady who I have never seen a bad side from, but I would bet she has one because she is human. I love this woman dearly and I would aspire for my bad side to be so mute and that people begin to no longer see it.

We need to be good at loving people despite their sometimes blazing bad side. We really need to work on training our thoughts and reactions to be out of love and understanding for the person whom God created and not a reaction to what our human emotions tells us. I can tell you that I, with God's patient assistance, am getting better at this. I still have a hard time not discussing annoying flaws in people with my husband, but I am almost immediately convicted of what I just did. The Holy Spirit will point out my wrong doing so that next time maybe I will remember and not do it. The bad part here is as soon as the wrong comes and I apologize, Satan starts throwing the guilty party and makes me feel guilty. The Holy Spirit does not shame me, Satan does. I pray that He will help me to love others so much that all I can focus on is their good and the bad goes unnoticed.

I pray that God will give me the love for all people, no matter how great their bad is, and that I will remember that in EVERYONE there is some good-- God's image. I think God's image is greater than any host of bad could ever be. Satan just uses our pet peeves to sic us on the other person's bad and helps us to rationalize why we despise the person whether it is because we hate abortion, murder, molestation, perversion, greediness, haughtiness, divorce... God hates these sins too, but He loves the person no matter the sin. He is willing to cast even our worst sin as far as the east is from the west. Therefore, shouldn't we do the same for people?

Now you think about this:

Do you take the good with the bad in people? Are you willing to overlook a person's bad to thank God for the good and love that person? (I want to add here-- we can't love someone if we refuse them, despise them, look for a chance to justify a resentment towards them, or put a protective wall up around ourselves and not open up to them (walls prevent relationships). God has never done this to us, our sin killed His only Son, but He still runs to us open armed, in full loving faithfulness even though He knows without a doubt we will still hurt Him and do not deserve His love.


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