Loving God, loving people

It was a bitter cold evening in Nashville.

43° F.

Hey, for Nashville in the winter, that’s cold. It gets colder, but 43° F makes you start wondering if you have enough money for a round trip ticket to Turks and Caicos, and if your boss would actually let you “work from beach” for two months while winter blew its frightful gusts on Music City.

So, it was cold.

I was stuck in traffic yet again. It was 4:30 p.m. on a Friday. I wanted to be home with my fuzzy socks, Le Boyf and pizza (which has become somewhat of a ritual now).

I decided, instead of cruising and singing with the radio like I usually do, that I would grit my teeth, yell and gesture at people like the Jersey girl I am thinking it would somehow make gridlock traffic pull a Bruce Almighty.

jim-carey-bruce-almighty-sports-car-splitting-traffic-13647628730_zps3e855947

But I’m a Christian girl first. And that behavior was nipped in the bud by my Creator. He decided to use the radio this time.

KLove had one of Levi Lusko‘s messages playing and he touched on Philippians 4:5: “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”

Lusko said the original meaning of the word gentleness is ‘a sweet reasoning,’ that when people come in contact with us, there should be a peace, a gentleness, a sweetness about us that make people take a breath because they’re in the presence of someone calming.

Barreling down I-40 gesturing with my hands and yelling (with non-tinted windows, mind you) did not give off a “sweet reasoning” to the other drivers around me. I’m sure Jesus didn’t use dramatic hand gestures when a camel or a flock of sheep were in His way.

We say we love God. But do we love the people God created? 

And I’m not referring to your friends, the lovable people you come into contact with daily because, like Jesus said “If you love those who love you, why should you get credit for that?” (Luke 6:32).

I mean the people who slight you, ignore you, talk about you unkindly, the ones who tear you down any chance they get.

There’s a reason He told us to love the people who seem hard to love.

They’re the ones who need love most.

I’ve taken a hard look at myself and I’ve prayed multiple times for the Lord to remind me to clap my hand over my mouth (Proverbs 30:32). I say things that just aren’t loving.

And when your name literally means ‘Lovable’ you feel a need to live up to that.

How do you love the people, all people, God has orchestrated to be in your life?

Lord, let us be loving people even when others may not respond to our love with love. Remind us we love because You first loved us and whatever we do, we do it all for Your glory and Your Name. Let us feel that weight, that we carry Your Name, so we can weigh our words before opening our mouths.

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