Love is not easy…but it is worth it

Sisters,

Today I received an email from a friend of mine with the title “I’m letting go.” As I read the email, it explained how this friend felt that I was not responding to her needs and desire to communicate regularly and as a result, she wanted to end a 16+ year friendship.

At first glance, I became angry at the email and felt that it was an unfair characterization of our long-time friendship. My “lawyer hat” came on and I immediately began refuting every one of her sentences in my mind. Like many of us, I thought about all of the “comeback lines” I could use to rebut her arguments and how, in the end, my view of things would prevail.

Before I decided to respond, I took a shower, made some hot tea, and prayed. And prayed. And prayed. I prayed for so long, my tea started to get cold. I knew that if I responded to her in that moment, I would reply to her email in a way that would destroy our friendship and that would be unbecoming of my walk as a Christian. So I prayed, until the anger, hurt, and defensiveness melted away and I gained a sense of peace and resolve over my emotions.

When I returned to my computer this time, the Holy Spirit reminded of this popular passage of scripture:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV)

I began typing, allowing the love of Christ and the spirit of reconciliation to flow from my heart to my fingers and, eventually, to my reply email. I checked the “final product” and double checked it, not with my proofreading eyes, but with my spiritual eyes. I wanted to be sure that not only did my email convey a message of love and concern for her well-being, but that it also represented what I know God requires of every disciple: to share the love of God, regardless of the situation.

Sisters, it is not always easy to love one another. Family responsibilities, boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, jobs, etc. can cause us to disconnect and lose touch with one another. At times, we can become distant and, if we are not careful, grow apart from each other. It can be a very difficult situation to face, especially when both parties are used to a close, familial bond.

We must respond to these difficulties as the Spirit instructs, for although we may think that we can exist independent of each other, we cannot. I Corinthians 12:18-20 (NIV) says it this way:

“But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”

We are all part of one body, and each part of the body is needed in order for the corporate structure to function. Sisters, each of us are needed in the body of Christ for it to flourish and thrive. That means that we must operate in a Spirit of love and forgiveness, not allowing the enemy to divide and separate us. For many, pride is a factor that prevents true forgiveness and reconciliation. For others, we become wounded by the actions of others and hold our hearts at bay for fear of future pain.

Whatever is holding you back from establishing or maintaining loving, healthy relationships with others, Jesus can remove those feelings and cause you to walk in victory in your relationships with others. If you desire to forgive and be reconciled with loved ones, repeat this prayer with me:

Jesus, I feel hurt, angry and upset by my friend’s actions. I want to respond in anger, but I know that you require that I respond in love. Lord, help me to love others, despite their actions toward me so that I may receive the blessing that you have for me. Forgive me if my thoughts and actions [did/do] not line up with your Word, and help me to establish and maintain healthy relationships with other men and women, so that you may be glorified. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.

I have not heard back from my friend yet, but I pray that I will. If she does not respond favorably and decides to end the friendship, I must live with her decision. However, I can also walk away knowing that I responded in a spirit of love and reconciliation, not hurt and retribution.

If we desire to be truly blessed in life, we must be willing to lay aside our momentary disagreements and live a life of love and light. To be sure, love is not an easy task, but that is why it is called by Paul a “more excellent way.”

I hope that you will walk with me in that more excellent way called love and begin the process of healing and reconciliation with your friends and loved ones. I think that, like me, you will find that not only is it the right decision to make, but it is the only decision to make if we are to please God and achieve unity with one another.

Walking toward excellence with you, Anique

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12 thoughts on “Love is not easy…but it is worth it

  1. Carol Bedford-Wright says:

    The Bible says, “In All things give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus…”

    Not until or unless we face “challenges” do we defer to the Excellency to lead, guide and direct us into All Truth. Jesus, The “All Truth,” called us His friend! What an honor and a privilege! The “title” of “friend” is not a status position, but a “heart condition.” Jesus’ Love for us, and our love for Him is the bond that seals our “friendship.” We have to understand that there are varying degrees of this thing called friendship. Jesus had twelve disciples; however, only three of them were in His inner circle. He still loved them all equally, even though He spent more time with the three. These three experienced/saw things the other nine did not. Why? Because there are “DIvine” relationships. We do not choose our “Divine Connections,” just like we do not choose who are parents or siblings are going to be. They are chosen for us. These three disciples spent more time with Jesus, which may have caused the other nine to resent; but it was Purposed.

    As we mature in the natural, and even more so in the Spirit, I believe we will begin to understand that some things are “ordained;” and as Ecclesiates speaks about, are “seasoned.” Some seasons may last longer than others; however, as we allow the Holy Spirit to lead our lives, we will have a greater comfort and insight into “relationships” and Purpose. Divine Relationships are not dictated by us; it’s by God. These relationships are over when God says it’s over! We continue to share the Love of Christ with All, knowing that God Always does “Exceedingly and Abundantly Above All We Can Ask or Think; BUT it is According to the Power that Works in Us.” The POWER is the Holy Spirit!

    Wonderfully written blog… God has Great Things In Store!:-)

    CBW

  2. Danielle W. says:

    I am in a similar situation. Your prayer was beautiful and as Brittany said, right on time. Many thanks.

    • Thank you Danielle for your feedback! I hope that you and Brittany will continue to read and offer your comments on the site. Also if there are topics of interest to you please let me know or share a blog story so I can post it. Blessings!!

  3. Athenee says:

    Anique,
    Thank you for sharing this story. I know that many will relate, and I hope, find the courage to address issues from a place of love and forgiveness.

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