Years ago I heard Joyce Meyer talk about those who hurt others. It rang true with me because I knew there were times I had lashed out at the people I love. It wasn’t about them, and I felt awful later. But I still had done it.
Maybe, just maybe, the difficult person in your life was hurt. Something made him/her act gruffly, or angrily. I’m thinking of someone right now in my life who is no longer here. I loved my brother, Gus, so much and yet, for reasons unknown to me, he would lash out or simply remove himself from my life for long periods of time. Then one day I got a call. But every time he opened his life back up to me, I was there. Why? I loved him. He was family.
One day after not hearing from him for a while, he called and said, “Anne, I have cancer.”
And I had a decision to make. Would I let his past behavior dictate how I would treat him? I knew what God wanted me to do, so I opened back up. We all did and we were there for him all the way till his end. Why? It’s called forgiveness. Read Ephesians 4:32. Forgiveness is not something we decide based on someone’s behavior—It’s something God expects us to do. Just like he did for me; I didn’t deserve it either.
Yes, the holidays are upon us. It’s time when families get together. Some are excited about it, and some are not. Why not use this holiday season as a reason to love like you’ve been loved?
It’s never too late to do the right thing.
Father God, I come before you and ask you to help those who will be getting together with loved ones. Lord, you know sometimes we have differences and those differences can divide us. And if left that way those wedges deepen over time. God, you are the God of reconciliation. Will you help us to love like you love? Will you help us to be kind, and tenderhearted and forgiving? Lord, we can’t do it without you. It’s impossible. But you said the things that are impossible with man ARE possible with you. So we ask this in Jesus’ precious and Holy name. Amen.
Anne Peterson is a poet, a speaker, and an author of 14 books. Anne understands abuse as she has written a memoir, Broken: A story of abuse and survival. You can see more of Anne’s work by checking out these links. And although Anne has many titles, her favorite is still ‘Grandma’ to 4 grandchildren here and one in heaven. Download a free copy of her book Real Love by joining her email list. Sign up for anne’s newsletter and receive her free eBook, Helping Someone in Grief: 17 Things You Need to Know. Visit her website at www.annepeterson.com. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
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