Yesterday a friend of mine challenged us on Facebook:
Consider as you walk today and for the weekend:
“..if you love those who love you, what reward will you have?”
There’s value in loving those who are difficult to love.
As I read it I contemplated just how well I do with this as I go through the mundane sameness of every day. I thought about the difference between putting myself in a position to love someone who is difficult to love and choosing love or acceptance toward someone who crosses my path in everyday situations. I actually think the latter is more difficult.
Challenge accepted, I began my day and headed to the orthopedic office where I work at the front desk. I prayed that God would give me the proper responses to those around me and that I would react as Jesus would when placed in difficult situations. As I got to work I encountered:
- The impatient caller who was worked up because she didn’t get the answer to the message she left quickly enough.
- The inefficient drugstore clerks who can’t seem to get people through a check-out line in a timely manner.
- The grumpy patient checking in who didn’t have his insurance cards and didn’t want his time wasted signing forms.
- And my favorite…the pickup truck who barreled out of a parking lot and almost hit me on the way home.
There were others of course, too many to list here. In my job we talk to so many needy patients on the phone and in person that there are numerous opportunities to choose. And I will admit I didn’t always choose love when someone was ranting on the other end of the line. I was reminded just how difficult it can be to not fall into the trap of grumpiness, sarcasm and gossip. Thankfully there were several times I caught myself softening my responses mid-conversation or looking that grumpy person in the eye with a smile.
When I changed my responses to a more loving, accepting tone I saw a change in the other person as well. It was sometimes subtle but to me it was significant. I knew I had made a difference, however small.
Bestselling author Harvey Mackay said,
“Little things don’t mean a lot, they mean everything!”
Take a minute right now to reflect over the past day or two and the little things others have done for you that brightened your day or lightened your load:
- Did someone hold the door and let you walk through first?
- Did a stranger smiled as you passed?
- Perhaps a co-worker shared your workload…or a sweet treat!
….you get the idea.
If these little things made such a difference to you, imagine the difference you might make to others.
And in these situations it’s not a stretch to consider you are making a difference for eternity.
Truly I tell you,
whatever you did for one of the least of these
brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40
So today I am issuing the challenge to you. As your weekend begins and you encounter the grumpy, impatient and rude people who are a part of our everyday life, make a choice, and make a difference.
Please come back here and share with us how your encounters made a difference. I’d love to hear about them!
blessings and peace to you!