08 May, 2007

Does God Ever Annoy You? (part 7)

(Note for you newer readers: I started writing a series of these in February of 2006. If you'd like to read them all, type the words "annoy you" into the search box found at the upper left corner of this blog and you can see them all. They are in reverse order by date, so you may want to start at the bottom.)

I have left the "God Annoys Me" theme alone for almost 8 months, but in the last 24 hours, I've had another of those moments where God really got under my skin.
The annoying fact about God?
It is that
He actually wants me to love people that I really would rather not!

Oh, don't get all self-righteous on me and act like you don't know what I am talking about.
Let's face this simple fact: There are some people that we just get put out at, turned off to, or otherwise just do not "want" to love.
It may be as simplistic as the woman who walks her dog in front of the house every day and allows him to "do his business" in my yard, or it may be as complicated as the man who beat the child until his skull is practically mush... but the point is, there are some people that I really do not want to love.
But then God smacks me right in the face with the scripture that says, "If you love only the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that." (Luke 6:32 The Message)

God actually expects for me to love the guy who cut me off in traffic or the guy who molested the child down the street!
Man, I got to confess that I struggle with this, and I have had to tell the Lord that this is another one of those things that annoys the daylights right out of me.
The thing is; God never asked me how I felt about it, he just commands that I do it.

Truthfully, the really nagging thing that just gets me deep in the pit of my stomach is that I am reminded that I too was one of those folks that people did not want to love, before the Lord saved me. (I'm sure that there are still those who find it difficult to love me!)
I think about the people that I stuck a gun in their face and robbed them back 27 years ago, or the one I sold drugs to their loved ones back in the day must feel when they hear my name.
Somehow, I'll bet love is not the emotion that comes to mind for them at that moment.
Still, someone loved me. If not me, the person, they loved me, the soul enough to tell me about Jesus Christ and the unfathomable love that he offered to me.
I would imagine in Biblical times there were a lot of folks who felt annoyed that they had to love this guy who called himself Paul, who used to be known as Saul; who had terrorized the church community.
Forget about trust... I'll bet they did not even like the guy at all when he first showed up!

The point is, we are called to love... even when we don't want to.
Christ loved us when we were unlovable, and we whom Christ now dwells in are called to love with the same measureless love that he offered to us.

Once again Lord, I am really trying... but I'm a little bit annoyed again!


Neil said...

Yeah, I get what you're saying. Add to it the fact that some days I just don't like people and we're really in a mess!

Barbara said...

I've been down this road with a person! My husband couldn't understand why I couldn't be civil to this person! I didn't like things he had done,and had nothing for him. I finally had to ask God to help me with the problem and he did. I can face him now and not hate him - still don't like him and things he's done - but I no longer hate him. He will pay for what he's done.