Today I have a valuable lesson to share related with someone who I am not really fond of, to make it simple let’s call this person as a ‘he’.
Have you ever been in a situation that you really don’t like that person but you just have to deal with him at daily basis? (could be because he lives at the same house or work together or other reason perhaps). It feels dreadful because I feel bad disliking this person. At first I hope for the circumstance to somehow change as soon as possible (‘move away’ that person from my daily encounter, for example) But I know it won’t, at least not within this short time. My heart also not neglecting the truth that God puts this person in this specific circumstances in my life to teach me lessons on being gentle, patient, and kind.
What should I do then? I just have to survive, have conversation with him as minimum as I can. Yet inside my heart, I pray. I pray for God to soften my heart, I am the believer so I have more ‘moral responsibilities’ to act kind toward this person doesn’t matter how annoying he can be. Taking another one step ahead, I started to bless him in my prayer. I bless every aspect of his life that I can think of. It feels weird, indeed, praying and blessing someone who I don’t like. In prayer I started to be able to bless him, yet I still couldn’t stand to see his face or even talk to him.
But then a miracle happens!
Somehow God just changed my heart on last Saturday. My perspective was changed. My ‘hatred’ somehow has started to diminish. My tolerance level increased. I can start to act kind toward him (yes, meaning I have started to talk again instead of pretending I didn’t see him when he’s around). Not only talk, I did several act of kindness to him without expecting anything (he’s a type of person who rarely says thank you, anyway :P).
I could not really describe how God works in my heart, but I really know and feel it is the power of His Holy Spirit working in my heart. That way, I cannot boast because I know a Divine Power has overtaken the control of my heart. God answered my prayer. He did change my heart and give a new perspective. Now I still pray for God to continue changing my heart so I can extend His love and grace toward this person.
Which aspect of love in 1 Corinthians 13 that I have and will continue to exercise in terms of this particular challenge?
>> Love is Patient
>> Love is Kind
>> Love does not keep records of wrongs (I don’t want to remember anymore his past mistakes, whenever the temptation comes for me to rewind those ‘annoying moments’ about this person, I shake my head off and say ‘I put these negative thoughts about him under the captive of Jesus Christ)
>> Love never fails (Love can always change even the worst relationship)
Why God did not change my heart right away after I pray? Why He has to put me in such an agonizing feeling (feeling ‘condemned’ not being able to love this person as how I should) for quite some time?
I believe one of the reasons is, He wants to develop that perseverance in my heart. Because another aspect of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is “Love Perseveres“.
Thank You Lord for showing Your miraculuous work in my heart and letting me know that You are alive in me and it is You who is able to change my heart like that.
Next time if you also experience similar situation like mine, in which you seem can’t escape from that person you don’t like, “challenge” youself by praying for that person and ask God to change your heart instead. It may not be easy at first, just like what I felt too, but in the end it will do good to yourself! 🙂
My “mission” is still ongoing, God bless for yours too!