“Lord, what about him?” (John 20:21)
Let me ask you to stop and think about the person you love most in life. It might be your spouse, child, parent, a family member, or that special someone. Whoever it is, I am sure it only took a second or two for them to come to mind. Every human being is a lover. God created us to be lovers because he is love. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (I John 4:8)
Truth is, we are all on a quest to love someone or something. And whoever or whatever we love can be a great influence in shaping the direction of our lives. Meeting that special boy has the potential to change the course of our goals and dreams. Loving music or sports can influence us into becoming musicians or athletes. Loving Jesus Christ can be a catalyst into ministry.
Much as we love people, it can be a complicated endeavor to love them. At times we are afraid to love others, fearing they will hurt us. Some people we find difficult to love, because of their behavior, mistakes, moral choices, etc. Often, we discover these people are family members that we feel obligated to love. Some people we struggle loving because we cannot control them and that frustrates us. Yet others we find easy to love, usually because we like them as well.
Here is our greatest difficulty when it comes to loving people. We can easily agonize so much over people – what they do, what they say, what kind of a life they live, what their comings and goings are – that we miss living the life God wants us to live. When we are frustrated because we cannot control others, whether we realize it or not, we end up allowing them to control us. That takes God off the throne of our life and places a person ruling our life.
So, what can we do about our dilemma with people? First, face the fact that God has every person in our life for a purpose. No individual has slipped into our life without God’s notice. He has placed them there to perhaps teach us something. Second, there is no one in our life that God’s grace cannot reach. Every individual has the potential to become whole in Christ. And third, God has not given you and me the power to change anyone. Not that grumpy husband – that rebellious child – that backstabbing friend – that cranky parent – that nosy neighbor. Changing people is God’s job. He has simply given us the power to be who he created us to be – lovers.
Release the people in your life to God. Don’t miss living the life God wants you to live.