• Heidi J. Smith


Photo credit to Aliyah Jamous from Unsplash

Tears streamed down my face as I heard the door slam. Recent words swirled in my head. Some I would regret, while others wounded my heart. I felt weary. Tired.

Sitting in the chair, I wondered, Why are relationships so hard? Lord, how can I love this person when I don’t feel like it today? How do You love me continually?

Since we are all sinners, relationships are messy. Yet, God loves us and commands us to love Him and others. How can we love like Christ?

In our strength, we can't. But in God's strength, we can.

Who in our lives are hard to love? Is it our neighbor, coworker, friend, family, or spouse? How can we love the unlovable?

Guarded Thoughts

When we are hurt, we naturally replay the incident in our minds. Out thoughts quickly turn sour. We need to dwell on true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and excellent things (Philippians 4:8).

Kind Acts

Bestowing a gift to a prickly person is the last thing on our minds, but God challenges us to feed and provide drinks to our enemies. Overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

Quiet Lips

When people gossip about us, it hurts. Choose to protect the other person and talk to him/her directly. If we need wise council, seek a person with high integrity and Biblical wisdom.

“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3 ESV

Persistent Praying

Ask the Lord to help us love the unkind person and restore unity.

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12 ESV

Humble Attitude

Take responsibility for our part. We can’t change the offender, but we can control our actions and attitudes. If we need to apologize or forgive, then we should do it. Philippians.2:3 and Matthew 5:23-24

(If you need help setting boundaries, or the situation isn’t safe, then ask for help from a pastor or counselor.)

Lord, relationships are messy and sometimes hurtful. Please remove any bitterness and replace it with Your love. Heal the wounds and restore peace. Fill us with Christlike love for others.

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Heidi J. Smith