A lesson in love

I remember one particularly difficult time in my life when I first had to put my faith to test. My brother was experiencing a painful trial and the rest of the family were suffering along with him. My mom pointed out to me one day that if we really believe what we say we do, these difficult times shouldn’t be so difficult.

I am now attempting something difficult in different ways. But based on my belief, it shouldn’t be difficult. The belief? The best way I can describe it is a primary song.

“Jesus said love everyone. Treat them kindly too. When your heart is filled with love, others will love you.”

Everyone? I’ve had my moments in life where I’ve had to search the depths of my charity barrel for love for an individual. In 8th grade a boy named Woody teased me relentlessly. It was more than just teasing, it was harrassment. Measures were taken by the school to keep us far apart. The nobility of it made forgiveness come somewhat easily. He was no longer tormenting me, and I had been taught to “bless them that curse you”.

But now, as I contemplate other situations in my life where I encountered people who are difficult to love, I realize that in general I’ve just avoided those people. The difference in the circumstance at present, is that I believe this person needs my love and friendship. I have felt strongly, in fact, that I should make my best effort to have a good relationship with her.

So what is making such a bond so hard? For starters, the reasons I have to believe she wants my friendship are based on subtleties. Her clear and unambiguous communication is usually harsh and sometimes rude. Further, she is actively involved in the life of someone I care about, and her influence (from where I stand) is generally for the worse.

I can’t really say that my efforts at present are sincere. But I have adopted that age-old adage “Fake it ‘til ya make it”.

I welcome any advice. For now, the following quote keeps me going.

“When frustration and impatience challenge charity, hope braces our resolve and urges us to care for our fellowmen even without expectation of reward.” – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

5 thoughts on “A lesson in love

  1. I wish I could help more here. Sorry. They only thing that comes to my mind is a talk from one conference in which the speaker discussed how he started to pray as if he had already forgiven whomever and thanking our Father for the blessing of this person. He said that after a while (long while) he actually started to feel as he had been praying toward that person. I’ve tried it with my m-i-l and it has helped for the most part. Yet we are long distances and so I don’t get to practice what I preach here 🙂 that often. Good luck on this new challenge to your life. My sister once told me that she believes that “our greatest trials are really our greatest blessings also”.

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  2. My sister taught me well when she forced herself to love as Christ loves and think of what Christ would think of them. I found myself doing that with swimming lesson kids sometimes as well.

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  3. Man I don’t have any advice for you because let’s face it…everyone thinks I am rude. Good luck with this “trial” you will rock it though because your awesome.

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  4. Hey Jo,You are such an inspiration to me. I have an in law that I struggle with as well. It seems like we are in similar situations…or at least your situation describes mine as well. I try to see her as Christ sees her and that helps. I’m also reading Peace Giver and the Anatomy of Peace. They are teaching me how to forgive even when she continues to hurt me and my family. She doesn’t care that she is hurting me and my family so I am trying to find ways to let it go and not let the hurt affect me. It is hard, but I think as long as we try…the Lord will compensate. Good luck…it is hard.

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  5. I think that “fake it until you make it” is in reality, being obedient to a principle that you know you should, but you just don’t “feel it” yet. There are great rewards in that and I do believe that faking it until you make it works every time.

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