Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that. ~Michael Leunig
Yesterday in Sunday School, the lesson was “Love One Another”. This is a timeless message that I can remember hearing since I was a little kid. We preach this to our children as they are having squabbles with either their siblings or classmates.
Musicians sing about this message (“Try to love one another right now”…Let’s Get Together by the Youngbloods)
It’s a really simple message, but much easier said than done. In a society where we also overuse the word “love”, how can we develop a true and pure love for one another? This same society teaches us to judge others that are too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, too smart, not smart enough, too blonde, too brunette, too tan, too white, too educated, not educated enough, too nice, too mean…the list just goes on and on.
One of my biggest questions about this lesson is how I can love somebody who has caused me hurt, or betrayed me in some way? How can I not hold that grudge, learn to let go, and show love towards that person? This is a big hurdle that I believe many Christians face. I’m the type of person that won’t make a big deal out of something that ticks me off and confront you with it, but I certainly won’t try to pretend like it never happened and carry on with you as if it never did. I am the type of person that will cut my losses and move on. Simple as that. How do I change that mindset and make a conscious effort to acknowledge the hurt, forgive the hurt, and move forward, all the while loving those who have hurt me? I believe this is something I will battle for the rest of my life.
I have made mini-strides to be able to do this…I remember a lesson on prayer that taught us to pray for those who have hurt us, so they might find the Lord and stop hurting others. Sometimes I remember to do this…most of the time I only pray for those I feel “deserve” to be prayed for. I KNOW this is wrong. I KNOW that I’m not the one who gets to decide who is deserving or not deserving. I realize all of these things. In the end, I want better for my children. I don’t want them to see me holding these grudges, and judging other people…I want them to see me loving others. I want them to see what a great life Christianity can provide for us. Just since I have gotten back on track with God by returning to His house on a regular basis, I have been blessed in every aspect of my life. My relationship with my parents has improved. My relationship with my spouse developed and grew because of it. I was blessed with another child. I was blessed with the ability to continue and finish my education. I was blessed with the right job at the right time in my life. I was again blessed (yes…blessed) with a layoff of said job…at just the right time. So, of course I want my children to see these things, acknowledge where those blessings came from, and want the same for their lives.
So, what have I done today to try to love one another? For starters, I loved a complete stranger today…the cashier girl at Mrs. Fields. It still counts, even though she gave me cookies.