Love Those Who Annoy You

Today is Saturday, January 21, 2017.

Quote of the Day

“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.” – Plato

Word of the Day

Propinquity – nearness or closeness in space; neighborhood, proximity.

Today is Hugging Day. I’ll be available all day.

I think a lot of people in this country could use a hug today.

We had a pot luck lunch at work, yesterday. It was pretty amazing. All I had time to grab was a sausage/cheese tray from Walmart Neighborhood Market. But some people went all out. We had homemade chili, chicken and dumplings, homemade enchiladas, “cheeseburger pie,” and a veritable plethora of other things. I ate so much I was miserable the rest of the afternoon. Yes. It was worth it. I got the recipe for the cheeseburger pie, by the way.

C went to the doctor yesterday, and was diagnosed with “bronchial asthma.” She’s never been diagnosed with any kind of asthma before. The doctor she saw also pinpointed some of the causes of the various pains she has been experiencing. There may be some hope for relief in the future.

There isn’t much on the schedule for today. I’ll probably hit the grocery store after a while, but C needs to just rest today.

And, by the way, my predictions for football this weekend (keeping in mind that I hardly ever watch football) are that the Patriots and Packers will win, thereby making it to the Superbowl, which happens sometime in March, I think. No, seriously, it is February 5. It just seems later every year.

35/72

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Psalm 105:4

Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! 
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” 
Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
Psalm 27:7-9

But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused? Psalm 76:7

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 
Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— 
no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. 
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 
On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 
You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
Psalm 91:8-10

(From The President’s Devotional)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 
But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 
so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:38-39, 43-45

I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

“It is easy to love when we are loved.” Jesus alluded to that in his commands to love our enemies. What good does it do us if we only love those who love us? Even the “tax collectors” do that! It’s not even that difficult to love someone who hates us. More difficult than loving those who love us, true, but I believe we find it easier to pray for someone who has an intense hatred for all things “Christian.”

But what about those situations that fall between the two? What about those people you encounter every day who annoy and irritate us? Coworkers, family members, and so on.

“It is in these moments that we must live up to our spiritual discipline, where we immediately say a word of prayer for the person on the other end of the exasperation, the irritation. She or he is a sister or ‘brother for whom Christ died.'”

“Dear God, remind me of my own fallibility, weaknesses, and flaws, so that I might more easily show grace to others. Amen.”

Father, these words strike home in my heart. I find myself in situations where I forget to love these people. As Joshua stated, it is usually quite easy to love those who love us, whether they loved us first, or love us in return. It’s not even impossible to love those who hate us. But those folks in between. The ones that simply annoy and irritate us. Dear God, how I have failed in that!! I pray for your Spirit to help me to accomplish the words of Christ in my life. Help me to live and walk by the truth that Christ proclaimed, and live in such a way that there can be no doubt who I belong to.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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One thought on “Love Those Who Annoy You

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