Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Love/Hate Relationship

There are some relationships (past and present) in our lives that many of us feel that we could do without. We may feel that it would be easier to be out of the company of those whom we disagree with. If we find ourselves rejoicing when that "problem dancer" is unable to make a rehearsal or engagement, we must submit to a heart examination. Many hurts in ministry are borne from loving relationships that ended in an unloving manner. It is in these times that we learn to trust only in the Lord, but in doing so, we are not to make our hearts hard toward others.

Torn relationships in the church setting can hinder our ability to minister wholeheartedly. If we are led to dance in a certain section of the congregation and the person that we are having an issue with is near, we may disobey the Lord's direction if we try to avoid the encounter. On the other hand, we may find ourselves trying to prove our righteousness by dancing and shouting fervently in their presence. Even if our feelings of hurt are justified in our eyes, we must continue to love those that may outright hate us or be unsupportive. Saying "I love him or her" is not enough. Love is an action word.

We should expect to be hated or disliked when we are truly advancing the Kingdom. Understanding this, we should prepare ourselves to have a greater capacity for love. Having detractors should not be used as an opportunity for boasting about our "haters." It is natural to want to retaliate when people oppose us or our ministries. It is supernatural to love our enemies and trust the Lord to handle it every step of the way.

Matthew 5:43-44 (NKJV)
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you

Luke 6:26-28 (NKJV)
Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets. “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.

Titus 3:3 (NKJV)
For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

1 John 3:11-13 (NKJV)
For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.

1 John 4:20 (NKJV)
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

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