People You Can’t Stand

People you can’t stand. The mutual friends that annoy you, the coworkers that are mean, the guy on the bus that gives you attitude because you sat next to him, and the people that shove you around in the crowded subways. Sometimes they are irritating blips on your life screen; other times you get caught up in a cycle of anger and resentment.

You pray and ask God to help you love them. Maybe you have to say that prayer repeatedly, in each moment that your heart rebels against the command to love them. It’s not easy to have the grace that God has. 

Just take a moment to soak that in. It gives new insight to the oft-repeated but rarely-considered line in the Lord’s prayer – “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others who have trespassed against us.” How easily we ask for God’s forgiveness yet we rarely think of the well of patience our Lord has for us.

There is a mind-blowing (if you really let your heart mull over it) lesson to learn from these interactions – how amazingly endless is the DEPTH AND BREADTH OF GOD’S LOVE & GRACE?!

*Image taken from:http://www.pktfuel.com/neighbourly-love/

A Beautiful Soul

To be a reflection of Jesus’ love is to reflect true beauty and that’s what shines through to others. They notice it, they feel it, they want to know where it comes from. I love the verse she closes off with.

“Privileged Responsibility”

Have you ever been criticized with the following – “Aren’t you supposed to be a Christian? Then why did you make xyz mistake?!” It’s frustrating to hear those words because we are, after all, human. We make mistakes even if we have chosen to follow Christ. Although there is a difference in the way we live (or at least there should be), there are times when we don’t behave as God would expect us to.

On the flip side, this post  is also a very important reminder that we are representatives and leaders whether we consider ourselves qualified or not. You may not think it’s true, but people are watching how we react to different situations and how we treat those around us. If we make mistakes, that’s okay because God has it covered. He can rectify any messed up situation. But at the same time, we should remember that we have an opportunity to reflect the passionate and unconditional love of God. It’s an awesome responsibility.

A related post: Christian Hypocrisy or Humanity?

Word For Life Says . . .

” For unto whomever is given, of him shall much be required,” Luke 12:48

In 1998 a movie titled “Ever After: A Cinderella Story” starring Drew Barrymore came out.  Over the years this has become one of my favorite movies to watch because it gives a realistic human experience to that fairy tale of old.  With a comedic twist is shows one way that this romance could have played out if it were real.

The so-called Prince Charming in this movie had a name, it was Henry.  Henry was a some-what spoiled prince who didn’t always want to operate under his parents rule.  He didn’t want to be king and he didn’t want to be forced into marriage with a complete stranger because of obligation.  It was around this time when his mother Queen Marie said, “Sweetheart . . . you were born to privilege and with that comes specific…

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Answered Prayer: What a mess!

English: A stack of copy paper.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ok, I know this analogy is a bit long but I think you’ll appreciate the perspective I gained today so bear with me. 🙂

If you’ve ever worked on a group project; you know how much frustration, mis-communication, and stress is involved. Although I’ve had my share of frustrations with people who didn’t write well or who were not as communicative as I would have liked, I have to say I’ve fared rather well with my group members in grad school.

However, this semester I was in uncharted territory. I was assigned to a group of three with one member (let’s call her R) who literally did not show up for meetings, failed to meet deadlines, and did not contribute to our project in any substantial way. In fact, the work this person did accomplish had to be “re-done” because they did not do it properly. My other group member has been (thankfully) very good about meetings and deadlines etc. While she would get upset with R, I was focused on getting our paper done and felt surprisingly calm about our slacking group mate.

Fast forward to this morning when I sat down to take my first look at our final paper due on Tuesday. As I read through it, I realized it would require a great deal of editing – particularly for the sections written by R. I spent the next hour and a half editing, or should I say re-writing, the paper and I sent it off to my group. After I came back from church, I checked my email only to get involved in a flurry of emails clarifying which document we should be editing. Finally, when that was all sorted out, our not-so-stellar group mate sent us her edits and I found that she had completely ignored my revisions to her sections.

Needless to say, I was angry. It wasn’t just a matter of writing style or even grammar; the content itself was incorrect and I had spent precious time fixing it and adding crucial material. I couldn’t even look at it anymore I was so upset; tears of frustration literally welled up in my eyes. How could I submit this as my final paper for the semester?

In the midst of all this, of course I couldn’t keep my emotions to myself! As I finished venting to my friend, she sent me this message – “I’m sorry! Sounds like a real mess of a situation.” My reply back was – “lol…yeah it is a mess but thanks for hearing me out and thanks for your prayer…God must feel this way abt us huh?”

I said it in a somewhat off-handed manner but then I was struck by the truth of that statement. When God knows better (as I feel I do in this particular situation), how frustrated must he be to see us mess it all up? When we’re running around in circles or being incredibly counterproductive and we refuse to accept his edits and additions to our lives; does he feel those tears of frustration? Not selfishly like I did, but on our behalf.

Can’t you just see him looking at us and saying “If you would just listen and acknowledge what I’m trying to tell you, I know things would work out. I love you and I only want what’s best for you!” (Jeremiah 29:11; Hebrews 12:11) Unlike me, he says it in complete unconditional love and patience.

In the midst of a whole lot of stress, anxiety, and frustration; I feel like I had a moment of connection with God that I treasure. Isn’t that an interesting spin on answered prayer?