Last weekend, I sat and watched one of Joyce Meyer’s old sermons on Youtube. The sermon was on excuses and how people make excuses for not doing the right thing when they know what’s right to do, because they don’t want to grow up. As I reflected on her sermon that night and related it to a problem I was having with loving someone who’s difficult to love in my life, something she said in the video struck a chord in me. She said that “Hurt people hurt people, and that they may not be even trying to hurt others but because of traumatic experiences in their pasts that caused them pain, they’re taking it out on others”. As I thought about her words more, it was clear to me how broken and hurt the acquaintance of mine is. So, I chose to forgive the acquaintance in that moment for something they had done to hurt me, to not seek revenge on them for the pain they had caused me, to forgive them, and to respond to them with only love. That’s how I came to ponder what exactly is the right way to love a difficult person and how to go about doing it. Here are a few of the ways that Joyce Meyers goes about doing it and recommends that others do too.
1. Choose to forgive people. No matter how bad people hurt you, know that forgiveness is the key to healing yourself and others. Let the hurt, bitterness, and resentment go you may feel for that person, and allow them to do the same.
2. Pray for yourself. Pray that if it’s your divine assignment to help the person learn or do something that you can do so with love until your assignment is complete. Pray that you will be able to fully forgive the person.
3. Pray for the person. Pray that they will allow you to help them with whatever God wants you to help them with and love them with the love of Christ. Pray that the person will learn the lesson that God wants them to learn from their experiences and encounters with you.
4. Don’t gossip about the person if you’ve had a disagreement. Don’t air their business on social media or gossip about them to other people. Keep everything that you say or do (or said and did) with the person private, even if the other person doesn’t.
5. Bless the person and edify them with your words. Treat the person the way that you want to be treated. If a person wants respect they must first give respect and vice versa.
6. Move on. After you’ve done all you can do to help the person or love them and things still don’t work out, move on. Let God handle the situation. Let go and let God. You can still pray for a person if you’re not friends with them. You can love people from a distance.
Happy September, everyone! 😊
(Major shout-out to Joyce Meyers for inspiring this blog post)