"Don’t be proud at all. Be completely gentle.
Be patient. Put up with one another in love."
“I give you a new command. Love one another.
You must love one another, just as I have loved you."
When we lost Little Mac a few weeks ago, I didn't want another dog - at least not for a while. Watching that little guy die was hard and made me dread the reality of losing people I love. In a few days, however, I started weighing the pros and cons. In one scale I put the years of joy that white furball gave us and in the other, the hurt of the loss. The dog had been worth my tears and had brought much more joy than sadness to our lives. The house seemed empty and lonely when I came home alone. So, we started praying about and looking for our next furry friend.
|Best in Show - National Kennel Club|
Wire Haired Fox Terrier
|Best for Us|
Pound Mutt - Gus
The expectations we impose on others (be it dog, spouse, child, friend, or spiritual leader) usually turn into killjoys. Why? Because we design our expectations to meet our needs (nervous diva dogs) not the other person's. Expectations originate in positive snapshots we've taken of other people and relationships: air-brushed heroes, photo-shopped charm, cultural norms, and romanticized ideas that can't find roots in real soil. We each want someone to love us for who we are, but we're all guilty of imposing our expectations on others.
God loves the mutts and the best in Show, the artistic and the logical, the criers and the stoics, the detail people and the big-picture people, the affectionate and the reserved, the extroverts along with the introverts. He accepts us just as we are but doesn't leave us as diamonds in the ruff (sorry, couldn't help it). He refines us for His purposes. How many people do we hound because they aren't meeting our expectations? How many blessings do we miss in the people we're with because their "inadequacies" and "flaws" nip at our heels?
Lord, thank You for loving us just the way we are, but thank You for not leaving us in this condition! Guide our thoughts and affections to accept other people as You accept us. Show us how to find the blessings You hide in those close by and elevate our joy! May we obey Your command to love one another.
In the Name of Jesus, our example for loving people in all walks of life.
"Show family affection to one another with brotherly love.
Outdo one another in showing honor."