Do you have anyone in your life who just drives you straight up a tree? Do you cringe when you think about something that person has said or done to unnerve you? Do your thoughts become consumed with that person's wicked ways?
Y'all, I have to be honest today. I've been battling a very difficult person. The mention of this person's name is enough to make my head spin and my pulse quicken. I've been consumed with the error of this evildoer's actions. I've talked to Brian about it until we're both sick of the discussion. I've journaled about it, prayed about, and now I'm blogging about it.
The fact of the matter is that I was just hit square in the face with some truth. Brian and I were discussing it for the 758th time, and he said, "This has become an obsession for you."
I'm so glad that I have a husband who speaks truth into my life. He loves me enough to know when he needs to shut me down. I love him for that. Good marriages are all about purification. This was a cleansing moment.
I quickly retreated upstairs to the guest room. This has become my Bible study spot. I plopped down in the chair-and-a-half, and began to scribble down a prayer as fast as my hand would write.
I paused and asked the Lord to lead me to His word on the issue. Instantly, I turned to 1 John. I read all 5 chapters. 1 John allows for no misinterpretation when he repeatedly makes the case for loving others. My love for God can only be as strong as my love for me greatest enemy. My obedience to the Lord is only as great as my obedience to the command of loving others. After all, the two greatest commandments are love God and love people.
Immediately, I began journaling again, "God, I need your help in this. I am making a royal mess of your command to love people. I need you to show me, to equip me, to teach me how to love this difficult person. I CANNOT do it by myself. I'm weak in this. Please redeem it. Show your strength and power over my sin."
Suddenly, I felt a rush of relief. It's not that I hadn't already asked for God's help in this matter. Certainly , I had. It was a matter of the Lord putting this in perspective for me. Basically, He said, "Lindsey, get this straight. If you can't love this person, you can't truly love me. I require you to love me by loving others."
And, be assured, this won't be the last time that I need to ask for God's help in loving difficult people. I'm sure that I'll have to beg for His intervention every time I deal with this matter. It's another opportunity for submitting my will to His control.
As I was closing my time with the Lord, I was reminded of a prayer that I prayed all summer long, "God, humble me. Take away my pride. Remind me constantly of my need for you."
I'd say He's doing that. :)