Rise to the occasion (Adding goodness to your faith part 4)

Sometimes I don't want to. I don't want to say yes. I don't want to be there for that friend.
Sometimes being a friend is hard to do.
Especially if the past hurts me.
When they discarded my friendship but require it when they are in need.
When they betrayed my trust.
When they distance themselves from me because they don't like it when I confront them with their sin.
When they have been dishonest.
When they are only there in the good times.
When they just want to talk of their needs but never listen to mine.

And the list could go on.
And then I stopped and realize I have been that friend to Jesus. I have...
And yet, He is always there.
Always loving, always receiving, always with arms stretched wide.
And I want to be like Him, don't I?
And what am I doing to be more like him?

And that is just a small list of people I don't feel like being their friend anymore.
What about those I don't even want to befriend:
The preachy guy who always has an opinion on what I do.
The talkative girl who exaggerates every thing she says.
Those who seem too weird.
Those who only speak of the mundane.
The guy who is a little harsh and cold when he talks to you.
The girl pretending to be something she is not.
First of, those are ALL judgments and again God NEVER gives us license to judge.
Secondly, maybe I'm the preachy, talkative, exaggerating, weird, mundane, harsh, pretender to others. (Most likely and altogether)

There is someone in my life I noticed calling out for help. That person has been trying to get close to me. I didn't want to let that person close. I resisted that friendship. We had been friends in the past and that friendship had been disappointing to me.
"Is it my obligation to be there" I asked myself. "Does God require it of me?"
The answer is yes, but the problem is not in the command to love others but in the fact that before I say "no" I am seeking if it is "required" and if I have a way out of it instead of rising to the occasion with a prompt "yes".
The problem is not the others.
The problem is my heart.

There was once a time were the thing I most strived for in my life was radical living for Christ.
(esp. of change or action) Relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough.

I like this part: far-reaching. 
I don't think that someone who is looking for a way out is looking to far-reach, do you?
What is so wrong with my heart that I would rather look at my friend's past transgressions instead of their need. And let me tell you something, if this person is seeking ME it's because this person is desperate because I'm not much help or good company. 
I'm a disappointing friend too. Recently a very dear friend lost her great grandmother and I was unable to go to the funeral and be by her side. I'm also a very absent friend always busy with work, duty, and family. And sometimes I'm too busy for family, barely seeing my sister and father who live accross the street from me. 
Where is my heart of a servant?
Where is my heart that feels compassion for others?
Where is my heart that seeks be like Jesus, love like Jesus, comfort others like He has comforted me? 

If I numbered the reasons I resist this friend you would probably side with me. But in the Christ-centered life they are just excuses and pride. And in the light of Jesus' love for me, they are a reminder that Jesus would have more reasons to resist me. 

Matthew 5
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Let's rephrase that to: "If you love those who like you,", "if you those you like," "if you love those who are good friends," "if you love those who never fail you (and there is not such thing)," what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 
Where are you, Linda, being RADICAL?

Dear Lord, 
I'm sorry. My heart has been self-absorbed, self-centered. I've let my pride take the reigns of my heart instead of love and compassion. Let me not require brokeness always in order to examine this heart of mine; let me be transformed by your example and unconditional love towards this lowly sinner. I've been told I've been more tender and caring since becoming a mommy. Let this be true. Let my heart be more sensitive to others and be radical in my love and life. Let me not be looking to do the minimum but finding ways to do more, to be more for You. This I want for my daughter, this I must live. I often tell people she appears to have her father's tender and gentle temperament. It should be mommy's too. Lord teach me and transform me. You are able to do great things in me and in adding goodness I add faith believing You can and will.
Thank Jesus for loving me as I am. 
I forever love You.  

No comments:

Post a Comment