Sunday, October 23, 2011

Loving Those Not Easy To Love

"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." I Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NKJV)

When I think about this scripture the first thing that comes to my mind is the responsibility we have as pastor's wives and ministry women. In the early church, leaders modeled love to their churches. They lived by these words in the scripture. Love was the foundation and motive for the leaders' action.

As a pastor's wife and a woman in ministry I have repeatedly experienced everything but love from some folks throughout our 30 years of ministry. I know many of you reading this blog today can relate. I am thankful today that God has taught me how to love those who don't love others. I realize that if I were not able to love those who demonstrate a cold heart that I would not be an effective leader. When we dwell on the hurts and pains of life we become very bitter and indifferent.

God's love is directed outward toward others, not inward toward ourselves. It is utterly unselfish. This love is not natural. It is possible only if God supernaturally helps us set aside our own desires and instincts. The closer we come to Christ, the more love we will express to others.

Is it easy to love those who come against our families and criticize everything we do in the ministry? Absolutely not but I remind myself that I need to demonstrate God's love to these people anyway. It isn't about me and what I might want. It would be easy to totally write them off and avoid those who constantly inflict pain and suffering on our lives but that isn't what God has called us to do. These people are also hurting and dealing with some very deep wounds from life. God can heal them also and he may be calling you and I to be the resource he chooses to use in their healing process.

Listen for God's voice today as you allow him to direct your steps in your ministry. He may open doors of opportunity for you today that may be calling you out of your comfort zone but can also be very rewarding.