It was super sweet to spend yesterday afternoon with my brother and sister-in law. (Yes, masks were worn most of the time, as well as remaining socially distant. It was such a beautiful day to be outside.) Now we chat regularly over the phone (but a big surprise my brother now knows how to text – that’s huge for him), however, it’s been longer than usual since we had a face to face gathering. There was no breaking news. Just lots of conversation.  We laughed, made a run to Calusa, (no we did not literally run but you know what I’m saying) talked about life, death and crazy relatives.  We have one of those.  We have declared her more of a pain than blessing. She doesn’t listen and always knows what is best and did I tell you that she is always right.  She is difficult to love but she’s family. After the good byes, I sat and pondered about loving people who are difficult. I thought about a friend who’s demeaning to his spouse; he is blatantly homophobic and says terrible things about people who are not like him.  I don’t even know why we’re friends and I find it almost impossible to love him.  I have to deal with a person who comes by the church and demands that I help him.  If I don’t give him money he calls me every name in the book and tells me I am un-Christ like and no better than one of those *!*! Christian hypocrites. This guy may be loveable.  I know that there are a some folks here that have disagreements with me on theology or politics or my association with social agencies they don’t approve of – sometime I don’t want to love them and they don’t want to love me either.
I realize that showing love to one another is never done in the abstract. It is a face to face kind of thing.  It’s relational. I heard some good advice that has helped me through the years. “You can act your way into a new feeling easier than you can feel your way into a new way of acting.” So that may be worth pondering. “You can act your way into a new feeling easier than you can feel your way into a new way of acting.” Let me suggest that doing actually leads to a more excellent way of loving.  Nothing changes until I become more Christ- like in my love for others.

Scripture Reading: 1 John 3:18
“Our love should not be just words and talk, true love shows itself in action.”

Reflection Questions:
Who in your life do you need to love more?
How can you show others the kind of love that Christ has for you?
How do you respond to the statement “You can act your way into a new feeling easier than you can feel your way into a new way of acting?”

Prayer: Holy God, when I can’t or maybe it’s won’t love the other remind me of the love you have for me and encourage me to step toward them rather than walk away. Amen.

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