Have you ever met someone that instantly you weren’t sure you’d like them?
That’s how I felt about blueberries. I know blueberries aren’t a person but hang with me for a minute. You see, berries are one of my favorite fruits: strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, marionberries, but I avoided blueberries. Something about the way they looked turned me off. I can’t explain it. Then I had them in a bagel, muffin and finally in a pie and I slowly warmed up to them 🙂
Sometimes, even in church we don’t all get close to each other. God commands us to love another, but honestly sometimes you have to love a person afar off.
I mean, not everyone we meet will become our closest friends. It doesn’t mean you dislike them, but maybe your personalities are so opposite of one another.
It is possible you think very differently or behave differently from someone else and it rubs you the wrong way.
It takes God to help us love each other when we don’t have the ability to do it on our own.
Case in point: awhile back, there was a new member of a church that I attended that just rubbed me the wrong way. I couldn’t put my finger on it. She didn’t seem mean at all. She was pretty, smart and sung beautifully, so what was the problem? I guess, without saying too much it might be the way she chose to live her life. It didn’t make sense to me the decisions that she made.
But, maybe God was using her in a way unknown to me. I had to learn how to love her. To do that, I prayed for wisdom.
Sometimes, you can discern something that isn’t right because God is trying to protect you, but on the other hand sometimes it’s our own imperfections that want us to stay in our little circle and not let anyone in especially if they’re really different and unfamiliar to us.
God calls us a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9), chosen by God to stand out and not fit in. Everyone of us is unique in our own way. I have to stay out of the way with my judgments and let God tell me what to do and how to do it.
If I hadn’t eaten the blueberry bagel, muffin or the pie, I might never know that I would like blueberries.
So, I had to give her a chance too and if there’s something really wrong I prayed God would protect and alert me which He did. I no longer attend that church (another story) but in any case, she eventually also left that congregation and Oregon too. I’ve not heard anymore about her, I hope and pray she’s well.
So, when we encounter someone we’re not sure how to love on? Well, again prayer is the answer.
Here’s the prayer that I prayed for myself…
“Lord help me love when I cannot, help me show love and compassion even when I don’t have all the facts and I don’t understand. When I’d rather keep to myself, help me to open up my heart and receive those you would have come my way. Give me the right words to speak, words of encouragement and understanding. Where I fail, you will succeed. When I can’t get past my ideals, you will help me widen my understanding. And, when I don’t feel like extending myself please help me embrace anyone with genuine love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”