Loving the Unlovable

11 09 2013

I was reminded this week of Jesus words in Matthew 5:43-48 where He tells us that we are to love our enemies. Instead of, doing things the old way, you know, loving our neighbor and hating our enemies. Recently, these verses have taken on a special significance in my life. I found that I looked forward to dealing with a certain kind of people, while, simultaneously, I dreaded spending time with another. And I don’t mean like simply trying to avoid someone who I find annoying. I mean D-R-E-A-D-I-N-G talking to, looking at, pr hearing from this type of person. What I really discovered is that I didn’t like them because they weren’t very easy to love.


Which brings me back to this passage, Jesus didn’t say love those who are easy to love. He said love your enemies. While I don’t consider them my enemies, my attitude toward them has been unloving. Which is a nice way of saying I hated them. That last part was difficult to write. Because as a Christian, I should, and do “know,” better.

Another thing interesting happened to me, as I pondered these verses and my hateful feelings. I started substituting for a life skills/work place readiness teacher at a local high school, and the first subject that I was going to teach was about attitude. This interesting item that got my attention was the definition of attitude contained in the materials. The chapter of the book defined attitude as your feeling toward something.

The light went off for me when I read that definition. You see, I have been taught my whole life that my attitude in life was my choice. I could choose how I would respond to my circumstances or to people I encountered. In other words, I can choose my feelings, and my choices reveal the true condition of heart.

What does this have to do with love? For me, it means that I don’t have “right” to be annoyed by, to dislike or to hate a person. I, especially, can’t show those feelings toward that person. I do believe that this “demanding” position of Jesus on loving our enemies is impossible under our own strength or “will” power.

I do believe a proper perspective helps us in this struggle. This perspective to me come from Romans 5:8, ” But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” This verse coupled couple with verse 10, “while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son,” clearly indicates that God loved me as His enemy, a sinner. How can I do any less for those I view as enemies?


Protecting the Gift

5 06 2013

John 6:63 ESV

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

The gift and the call are the same, and both come from Jesus through Holy Spirit. They are a call to freedom found in the Truth, Jesus.  We will know the truth and the truth will set us free.  Once we receive the call, our responsibility is to respond and maintain our walk through humility, gentleness, patience and love.  By pursuing Holy Spirirt and positioning ourselves to align with Him, we will protect our unity and foster peace.  At the moment our pride, or selfish ambition, gets in the way, we will witness strife, discord, and dissension and lose our peace.  May we always strive toward Holy Spirit.

Day 30 Journal (and a thank you)

21 05 2013

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for the beauty of the Hawaiian culture.  I ask you to bring unity between the communities of the Hawaiian Islands.  For the people from the remotest parts of the islands to have and feel a deep connection with those for the more populated areas.  Thank you for the love that the people have for each other and the strong community bonds, and please grow those bonds deeper.

In Your Name, AMEN!

Author’s Note: If you followed me (or checked in sometimes) on this 30 Day Journey through the prayer, thank you.  Thank you for joining your prayers with mine for the people and lands of Hawaii. You have my deepest gratitude

Day 7 Journal

29 04 2013

The original prayer can be found at prayhawaii.org

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for creating teachers! I pray that they would have an increase of wisdom, patience, and kindness.  Give them creative inspiration on how to best reach the students that come into their classrooms.  Help them to inspire students as well as teach the subject matter of their classes.  Give them favor with their students and let them instruct them on the important matters of life as well.  Let them remember that they are there to serve their students.

Let administrators and classroom teachers work togother; foster a sense of unity and trust between them.  For teachers, give them the humility necessary to receive constructive criticism from their administrators.  Give administrators the ability to encourage and inspire their staff members with gratitude and thankfulness. Foster teamwork between them so that they may provide the best care for the students in their care.

In Jesus Name, AMEN!

Day 2 Journal

23 04 2013

The original prayer can be found at prayhawaii.org


We thank you  for giving us strategies and plans to bring unity and reconciliation between believers and between foreigners and natives. Help us to avoid comparing ourselves to others.  Whatever gets in the way of us lifting You up as the head, pride, judgmental-ism, self-righteousness, etc., please remove these barriers. Open our eyes to see our own folly and to repent. Allow us to partner with you in the ministry of reconciliation to see the church made whole.

Help the churches and believers on the Islands to recognize that each has a unique calling and gifting. Help us to avoid judging our differences but instead let’s embrace them.   As You prayed, make us one as You and the Father are one. Jesus, unity is Your will, Your idea, and we agree together with You to see unity in the body of Christ.

For the sins of the missionaries and children of early missionaries to the islands, we repent. For the greed, abuse and corruption, we ask for plans and strategies to see reconciliation. Jesus you make all things new, and we ask you to make relationships between foreigners and natives whole.

In Jesus Name,