Maybe you already knew this, but for the one other person in the world who didn’t get it, loving people does not require relating with them. (palm in face).
We each express different personalities. We have different interests, needs, and values. Some of us need to be around people to be energized. Others of us are drained by being around a lot of people.
When I first discovered the mystery of God’s kind of love, like a zealot, I wanted to be like God. So I reached out to everyone and made myself available to everyone because I wanted to show people God’s love. However, when you mix a sensitive heart with a lack of knowledge and wisdom it leads to catastrophic, broken relationships and a bruised heart.
I was committing to relationships with individuals with whom I did not share significant values, I made people who did not understand or seek to understand my person a priority. And I worked at these “relationships” for the sake of “loving one another”.
The writer of Hebrews says, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy. Without holiness no one can see the Lord” (Heb 12:14). Paul says in his letter to the Romans “If it is at all possible, as far as it depends on you be at peace with all men” (Rom 12:18). Another word for peace, tranquility, quiet., #nodrama.
After several lessons, alas I have walked away with some understanding.
- No Drama. Love does not require us to be friends with everyone, but it does require us to avoid drama with one another
- Say Sorry. And yes, in order to avoid drama, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and say sorry for an offense you don’t understand. In some situations, their hurt feelings matter more than your right to be right.
- Kill it! Pursuing peace is an ego-killer. Hebrews suggests that we ought to do this because otherwise they won’t see the Lord. In other words, it aint about us. If our actions have caused an offense that keeps people from seeing Christ then that has a more heavy consequence than our right to be right. We have to get low so people can see Jesus. That should be our number one priority.
- As Much as Depends on You. And from Romans we lean that sometimes it’s not possible. We can’t change people’s perceptions. We can’t quell the desire for drama some people have. Some are just instigators. But Paul says, do what you can, as much as you can to make quiet…even if that means being silent. God will judge
Some hard lessons. I learned that I was investing energy in relationships with people who did not want relationship, and that’s okay! I still believe love is a choice to commit. I understand though that it doesn’t require commitment to people…it is a commitment to itself. A steadfast commitment to peace, kindness, lowliness, forgiveness, and bringing God glory.