So I started praying it. And holy moly, my thinking began to change. And I started to see people differently. With more compassion and less judgment. It’s been amazing!
There is something so freeing in loving people where they are and for who they are. Not picking apart life style choices or parenting choices or anything else we don’t agree with. Love doesn’t focus on what “is not” in their lives; it calls them into who God designed them to be.
We all want to be loved and we want people to see potential in us, not failure.
My two teen drivers have taken over my Suburban, and with a third about to turn fifteen, we decided it was time for me upgrade and downsize. Newer and blessedly smaller. So after a hunt on auto trader, we made our purchase and I flew out to Michigan to drive it home.
As I sailed along the freeway, I made the hands free call to activate my satellite radio. Apparently, the trial period had ended with the previous owner and I wasn’t eligible for the program. But rather than speedily sharing this info and ending the call, the customer service person kept asking me redundant questions. Repeatedly. After answering the same question for the fifth time I was about to express my frustration, but sensed the Lord offering me an alternative.
What Love Does…
The irritation melted away as I felt love for this woman start blossoming inside me. My voice gentled and I no longer felt the urge to gain the upper hand.
Love triumphs! When we ended the call I felt peaceful, without any residual irritation that normally lingers after those kind of interactions.
How often do we choose love instead of offense?
I think love often illuminates our identity.
When we know who we are, we can choose love and choose to lay down our rights. We don’t have anything to prove when we know how beloved and valued we are by God. But when we don’t know our identity, we will constantly work to prove that we are valuable and we become protective of our rights.
What I discovered in my interaction with the customer service gal, is that love is humble. I laid down my right to be right. I chose the greater thing—–kindness and love. It isn’t a great thing to make another person feel small just to assert ourselves and our rights.
I used to see humility as weakness. I thought humble people were a bit passive because they often let wrongs slide by. What I didn’t understand was they weren’t letting things just slide by…they’d made a choice to let it go. To not pick up an offense. To choose to love instead of a fight that leaves no clear winner.
Truly humble people are actually powerful people. It takes knowing who we are and the knowledge that other people are innately valuable and deserving of honor to lay aside our rights. To love instead of dishonoring or humiliating. To let things go and trust God, instead of entering squabbles that elevate principles above people.
Love expands our capacity for greatness. It opens us up and allows God’s light to shine.
Father, teach me how to choose love instead of offense or irritation. I want to see as You see, think as You think and feel as You feel. Teach me how to walk in the greater things of love. To lay aside my rights and see people as You do. I ask that You give me a revelation of Your love for me and my identity in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Photos via Pixabay