Back to School
I close my eyes and breathe, inviting peace.
I open my heart and breathe, inviting love.
My soul rejoices, knowing God is with me.
Love should be shown without pretending. Hate evil, and hold on to what is good. Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other. Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic—be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord! Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer. Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home. Bless people who harass you— bless and don’t curse them. Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying.
Most of us have people in our lives who challenge us and know exactly which buttons to push to frustrate and confuse us. They are the ones who remind us of our own imperfection, because that’s what they notice and bring out in us. When I am around people I love, it’s easy to bless others and not curse them. But for those people who know my weaknesses, it is much harder.
I have found that when I take the time to prepare myself for encountering those challenging people, I can appreciate them differently and engage with them in a healthier way. If I enter with suspicion, that’s what I’ll find; so why not enter with love and happiness? Think of God’s love for you as the invisible force field that will deflect any slings and arrows, and ask not what the other person will do to you, but what you will do for them.
How will God’s love for you sustain you as you encounter difficult people in your life?
Heidi J. Kim
Good and Gracious God, give me strength to remember that I will see what I expect to see. Open my eyes and heart to the good in others who challenge me. Help me to love them as you have loved me. Amen.
Let peace remind me to enter with love.
Let love remind me to make space for God.
May God’s grace help me to see and be seen!