Have you ever been in such a bad mood that you are just mean as a snake to everyone around you?
That was me off and on for about a year. Sounds extreme, I know. But it was by far the darkest time of my life to date. I was in a deep dark mental struggle and I felt like I was stripped of all light, joy, and peace. My spirit ran completely dry, and I was desperate. Desperate enough that I was willing to remove anything (or anyone) from my life that I saw fit to ease even the smallest amounts of discomfort or pain, and that I did. And if I didn’t remove them completely, I pushed them away.
If I’ve learned anything in the past few years, it’s that there’s a line between protecting yourself and hurting people – there’s a difference between building a shield and building a wall.
I’ve come across a verse again and again lately and it’s this:
Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” – John 13:34-35 MSG
Are you hurting right now?
Is there a relationship in your life that needs mended? If so, pray that God will show you how to act lovingly towards the people in your life. Pray that God would show you what steps to take to protect your heart but to do so while loving the other person as you’ve been loved by Him – with much grace and forgiveness. And sometimes, friend, it’s not even people that you need to protect your heart from – it could be the lies you’re telling yourself, or the lies the enemy is whispering in your ear.
Out of hurt, regardless of why we’re hurting, we can hurt others. Let’s be intentional with our words. Let’s live by the spirit and not by our feelings! Our spiteful words cannot be taken back and can pierce the hearts of others. Let’s choose to love people, not because we feel like it or feel it’s fair, but because God first loved us at our very worst.