Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people, A heart that forgives the worst, A mind that forgets the bad, And a soul that never loses faith in God. ~Unknown
“Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.” Psalm 119:18 (NKJV)
Are you living your life with spiritual eyes? Do you see injustice and pain with eyes of faith, believing in the goodness of God? Do you look at life and trust God is in control, discerning that despite all the confusion and chaos, He knows what He is doing?
There is always a godly purpose in what appears to be madness. Have you allowed personal sin and the things of the world to change your perspective, or are you still wearing the divine spectacles of Christ? If a worldly view has crept into your heart, try to remember the grace He showed you in the past. He was faithful then and will continue to be faithful now…. and always.
When those we love wound us, it is only with the love of Christ that we are able to overlook the offense. In fact, love prospers when a fault if forgiven. Through storms and struggles a bond, like a knot, becomes stronger and more secure. This happens when we decide to weather difficult times together and invest our hearts in a relationship, despite any pain or regrets. Adversity actually makes love harder to unravel. Everybody will disappoint. It is only God who never lets us down.
How easy it is to love the loveable! Who can resist a baby’s embrace, a puppy who loves unconditionally, or a friend whose company is easy, supportive, and almost always cheerful? But we are called to love ALL men, including those who are not so easy to love.
Grace and mercy flows from the throne of God and has a direct line into our hearts. We need only to ask for it. This wondrous flow and wellspring should be shared with others, whether we “feel” like it or not. Love is not just a feeling. It is a living sacrifice, a choice.
Now, loving all people does not mean you have to have an intimate friendship with everyone, as that would be impossible! However, having an open and obedient heart that seeks God’s will, asking who HE wants in your life, should be on your prayer list. He may surprise you by crossing your path with some pretty unlikely and remarkable characters!
For you see, God will bring people into your life in order to chip away YOUR impurities. Don’t worry yourself over THEIR faults… God has that under construction. He knows just how to refine and sharpen your faith and has many means to accomplish this process, including interactions with challenging people. Are all “good” friendships meant to be “easy” relationships? This question reminded me of Proverbs 27:17 (NIV) “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
In my mind, a “good” or worthwhile friendship is one that leads us closer to Christ. It helps to chip away our impurities and lovingly challenges us to deepen our bond with the heavenly Father. A relationship that spurs us on to fulfill our call, the call God has assigned for us, is worth more than gold and silver.
However, if a friendship distracts you from your heavenly call or negatively affects your spiritual walk, I suggest you lay that relationship on the alter of God. He will either refine and purify it, or cut it loose. Give Him time to work. Wait for Him to advise and direct you. Don’t do anything in your flesh. You can be sure that He will make things perfectly clear in His time.
Prepare your heart for His answer as you may not like what He says. It may require a lot of work and effort on your part. I can only say that you will be blessed, if you decide to honor His wishes, obey, and accept His instruction.
Our Lord sees us as we WILL BE, and not as we are now. Isn’t this a wonderful challenge and goal for us? Can you look at those in your life with the spiritual eyes of Christ? Can you see and appreciate all the good in these people, without any criticism or judgment? Will you try to have a mind that forgets the bad and focuses on all the positive and wonderful assets in every person you meet? May love be your tool of strength and His grace your motivation.
“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5 (NKJV)
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” Hebrews 10:24 (NKJV)