God sent himself to be with us, Emmanuel. In other words, he went beyond himself to love us. We do the same thing when we love others. One example, I love my kids and that love causes me to do things for them that I would not normally do. Two of my kids like sports, but I am not a sports mom and, frankly, I don’t like being a sports mom. Love has signed them up, brought them to and watched their practices and games. Love did that, because I didn’t want to be there, trust me on this. Love did it for them. Love trumps dislike.
I try to follow the example Jesus set on how to love others. He calls me to love both him and others, irritating as they are. My love for him should trump my dislike of people or situations because there are plenty of people and situations which I find annoying and irritating. Yet for some reason, Jesus calls me to love people, be in a relationship with them and to give thanks in all situations.
I could easily complain and grumble about practices and games. However, I don’t because Jesus wouldn’t. Doing so would kill my kids’ love of sports. It would hurt my kids mentally and emotionally. Jesus told me that what comes out of my mouth is what is in my heart (Matthew 15:19). My attitudes and words matter. I love my kids and want what’s best for them and my grumbling is bad. Instead, I hand my grumbling to God for him to hold. Then Jesus gives me the power to do what I cannot otherwise do, endure practices, games and to celebrate my kids and their accomplishments. Even when, especially when, I don’t want to.
He can do the same for you this holiday season at gatherings with friends and relatives whom you dislike. If you ask him, Jesus will give you the power to love the difficult people in your life and to grow closer to him.