“For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?” // Matthew 5:44
When I was in graduate school, an administrative assistant in our program was very rough around the edges. She was blunt, abrupt, and made me cry on more than one occasion. She held a great power which came from her knowledge of the systems at the University.
I frequently found myself at her mercy as I was navigating uncharted waters, so I made the commitment to kill her with kindness. She had given me nothing but grief from the moment I applied to the program, but with seven years ahead of me, I needed her as an ally. I committed to alway begin a conversation with her with a compliment. Rather than approaching her with demands and requests, I would pop into her office just to say hello or wish her a good day. I would bring her bouquets of smiles instead of complaints. As the weeks turned into months, I found her to be rather delightful. She slowly softened and, over the years, she became a friend.
Frequently those who are most difficult to love need our love the most. People who love us in return are easy to love. Our Gospel today invites us to love those who persecute us. Perhaps this is a family member, a coworker or an acquaintance. Most of us have someone in our life who is prickly or difficult to love, yet we are asked to do just that—to love him or her.
Consider beginning today simply by praying for this person. Ask the Lord to soften both of your hearts, consciously choose to be kind and loving without expectation of return, and then be nice. Even when it is hard.
It is easy to be nice to those who are treating us well, loving us deeply, and showing us kindness. Although it is much more difficult to love those who treat us poorly, it is a far better choice to love because the Lord desires it.It is a far better choice to love. // @maryruthhackett Click To Tweet