Relation-slips: Those Crazy Smother-in-Laws - Friday
…love your neighbor as yourself.
The other day I was emailing one of my coworkers. We had both independently hit upon the same idea. I meant to reply, “Great minds think alike.” But somehow my fingers breezed over the keyboard and wrote, instead, “Great minds think ALONE.” It struck me as funny. Then profound. It’s a humorous caricature of our culture.
It reminded me of a reality show I was watching last weekend. One of the show's participants had had enough and was quitting. In the obligatory interview off to the side, she said, “I’m not being selfish, but, you know... I have to think of myself... you know?”
Individualism and self love are easily accessible and in plentiful supply in our world. So, when we are called to love our hard-to-love neighbor as we love ourselves, we understand the immensity of the invitation.
We began the week the same way we’ll land - remembering that only God can give us a heart to love those hard-to-love people around us. We tend to give ourselves a ton of grace and leeway. We judge ourselves by our intentions. But we tend to judge others by their actions. What if we could give others the same grace we give ourselves? The same permission to have misspoken? The same space to fail? Relationships would certainly take on a different tone.
And when your relationships get better, the enjoyment of life grows exponentially. Love others like you love yourself. Show others the patience you exercise with yourself. Truly great minds think, not “alike”… but of others as better than themselves.
- Sometimes the people we spend the most time around at work, in school, or even at home are the ones we find it hardest to love like we love ourselves. How can you extend the patience and grace you give yourself toward them today?
- Ask God to help you love people who are hard to love far beyond this week when we’ve focused on it together. May He cultivate in you a life of patient love for others.
Memorize Romans 12:18b this week.
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.