Over the years, I’ve worked hard to become emotionally healthier. I’ve participated in counseling, attended groups and taken an Inner Healing Bible Study our church offers. I’ve worked hard to understand what hurts cause hang ups and why I do some of the things I do.
In the process of allowing God to heal me, I now desire healthy people and relationships. I don’t want to go on the ferris wheel of crazy with unhealthy people and patterns.
I used to embrace the crazy because I understood it and it felt familiar but the down side of crazy is drama, disappointment and hurt.
So I stay away from people and situations I know aren’t good for me. Sounds reasonable and healthy doesn’t it?
Recently, God reminded me of a scripture which caused me to rethink my avoidance policy.
He reminded me of Matthew 5:46-47 NIV “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”
I realized in shutting certain people out, I was doing exactly that – loving those that love me and greeting only “my own people”.
The challenge Jesus gives is to love the unlovable, the difficult, those who really challenge me personally.
I want to be clear – I do not think it’s Biblical to continue in relationships that harm us or are seriously unhealthy/toxic.
I’m talking about the ones who maybe aren’t very nice, leave me out, talk behind my back. People I don’t like very much and it’s easier to just avoid them.It's my choice to love or not love - God always lets me choose. Click To Tweet
So the other day, I chose to be loving. I didn’t feel it, I didn’t really want to but I did it anyway.
I felt like a hypocrite. I told the Lord, “I wish this was genuine. I wish I was doing this loving thing because I actually felt loving toward this person. I wish You would change me and make me more loving.”
I feel like the Lord impressed on me that this is how I become more loving. It starts with a choice and in choosing to be loving when I don’t feel like it, He uses that to change me.
It doesn’t really matter that my feelings didn’t match my actions – what matters is I’m giving up “me” (avoiding the person altogether) and choosing God – His way, not mine.
I felt better – in fact, I felt like I made progress. Maybe this is what transformation is – maybe it isn’t always instant.
Maybe transformation also happens step by step, trading my ways for His – one choice, one day at a time.