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Bless them that curse you, and pray for them that despitefully use you.
This is the season we are supposed to show God’s love to others and yet as everyone knows it can also be one of the most trying times of the year. Emotions are running high, everyone is scurrying and stressing trying to buy the right gifts, clean the house, decorate, make it to the Christmas pageants and then……. all of those relatives you only see a few times a year show up! Where does the love come from, how can you keep it and how do you show it to those that are just set on driving you insane?
One of you asked me the other day, how do we love someone who hates us?! It brought back the memory of someone asking me that a few years ago……. When Bill’s Mom was diagnosed with cancer it was a shock to all of us! She was a juicer and she took vitamins and we seriously thought she may out live us all! When she was diagnosed she said she wanted me to be her caregiver if things didn’t work out for the best. She wanted to stay home, home was the Mother in-law suite attached to our home. Bill was her favorite child, and so there was always a bit of tension between us because she used to tell me that I was in her way, it was hard for her to let go of her “boy”. As a mom, I get that, we all handle our children moving on and leaving differently. Then she began going through all the stages one goes through with cancer; denial, anger and frustration, it was tough because she went through it all! At first I wondered how we were going to survive and how was I going to be able to handle all that was coming! I finally got to the point where I prayed every single time I walked over there and through out my day that God would help me to treat her as though she were Him! I kept running through my mind, “how would I want my mom to be treated?” Then one day a lady that stopped by asked me, “how can you be nice to someone who is so mean to you?”
You don’t answer to God for how someone else treats you, but you will stand before God and answer for how you treat them! You aren’t going to change hateful people by acting like them! The only thing that will change anyone is the love of God! We are called to treat others in a way that pleases Him and there are times in life when that is the only thing that will drive you to do it! Matthew 25:45 tells us, “Then he will answer them, saying, “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” Trust me, I have had much more difficult people in my life than Bill’s Mom and she was ill, but no matter who it is or what they may be going through, the answer is still the same. Pray, pray, pray! Ask God to give you His love for them and the strength to be who you need to be in spite of all they are saying or doing. They don’t have to be your best friend and you don’t have to have them over for dinner. You are just called to respond with the love of Christ and believe me there will be many times that the only way to do that is with God holding your hand with one of his, and if you are like me, there are times I have to have Him hold His other hand over my mouth!
Let’s all do our best in God’s strength to show His love to everyone around us this Christmas! The best is yet to come!
“Character is not in the mind; it is in the will.” Fulton J. Sheen