Do I focus more on the fact that someone irritates me or that I don’t like them…than the fact that they are unsaved? Do I think it more important that someone doesn’t love me than the fact that he does not have a saving faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior?
When coming face to face with the normal things in life…like being around someone who irritates me…or encountering some whom I just plain don’t like…lately God has been convicting me. He’s been using it as an opportunity to remind me…that when I feel that way towards someone…it’s my reminder that I need to be in prayer for them. First and foremost for their salvation. Also that they may have the peace and joy that comes in knowing Jesus Christ no matter what their circumstances are.
I guess I have to ask myself…do I walk in that peace and joy of knowing Christ? Of knowing my salvation is secure? Of having the power and presence of the Holy Spirit within me? Or do I walk around negative and defeated…and a poor advertisement for Christianity?
God uses all sorts of thing in our lives to bring His message to us. Sometimes it’s reading scripture from the Bible, sometimes it’s hearing a sermon, or a conversation…or lyrics from a song.
I love finding new singers or groups. When I do so…I feel like I have found a treasure and enjoy exploring their work. So I was intrigued last Saturday following the Women’s Retreat at Kindred Community Church when one of our worship leaders Kristal told me about one of her favorite singers. Kristal was excited as she told me about Chris Rice and his interesting and quirky songs. She knows them well and as she shared about his songs…I could hardly wait to investigate further. Kristal and I both have a love for Steven Curtis Chapman’s work and Greater Vision…so I trust her judgment.
After listening to a song or two on I-Tunes…my only decision was on which album to download…not should I. I decided to go with Chris Rice’s album “Amusing”. Indeed Kristal’s description was true…his songs are unusual…quirky, thoughtful and fun. When I listen to his songs…they fire my imagination…and I find my thoughts are in motion.
Driving home today from my weekly errands I was listening to “The Final Move” from the “Amusing” CD…and thinking. Chris Rice…sings a lot about love…thus I started thinking about love. About romantic love…and a higher love…the love of God. God desires that we love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. He also commands us to love others. To love others…it is to put them above myself.
To put someone above myself…means that instead of being hurt that someone doesn’t love me in return…I’m more concerned over the fact that he doesn’t have a saving faith in Jesus Christ. So instead of feeling sorry for myself that he doesn’t love me…how about every time I think of him…to instead turn that into a prayer for his salvation.
As much as I love others…God loves them even more. He desires that all would repent and come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. As a Christian…shouldn’t I desire the same? For those I love and even those I don’t like too much…God desires that I show love to them.
“Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong). It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything (without weakening).” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Amplified Bible