Encouragement For When Loving Others Isn’t Easy

Encouragement for when loving others isn't easy

Encouragement for when loving others isn't easyLoving others isn’t always easy.

That’s probably not a new revelation to you, but it is a truth that seems to be hitting home to me more than ever.

When someone is rude, hurts your feelings, or disappoints you, it is hard to continue loving that person.

Sometimes people let you down in a big way, leaving a giant ache in your heart. But even small things can come between you and loving others the way you should…

Sometimes I feel like writing off the friend who’s always too busy, or the one who chronically forgets to text back. Or the self-centered person you always check in on, but forgets to inquire how you’re doing.

When I’ve been hurt by someone’s actions, I can be tempted to rationalize that this now gives me reason to forget them and move on. You tell yourself, you never really cared much for them in the first place, did you?

But life gets lonely when you stop caring. And frankly, it’s a waste of your time. What makes our lives worthwhile if not showing love to others? Even when you think they don’t deserve it? We don’t deserve God’s love, but He freely gives it to us anyway.

We all have shortcomings and should cut each other some slack. Usually, it’s not you; it’s them. Seriously! I’m trying to say, don’t take things personally – we all have our own demons to fight. When you notice a friend’s flaw, don’t hold it against them. Use it to gain a better understanding of what goes on in their mind. Use it to help them understand issues going on in their life as a result.

In other words, be a friend.

I’ve observed that when people hurt you, when you don’t receive the affection or response you expected, you might think it’s easier to hold a grudge. Get mad at that person and hate their guts instead. It hurts less.

Except it doesn’t hurt less.

Sometimes, to avoid feeling hurt, I chose what I tell myself is a righteous anger. Someone injured my feelings, so I will just be mad at their stupid, inferior personality. At least I don’t do that, I think to myself! Hmph.

Don't be like this person; loving others isn't always easy, but it's always worth it.
Don’t be like this! Lol… Loving others isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.

Except that I forget we all have flaws, and I’m pretty sure I’ve hurt others too. No one ever gave me a medal for friend of the year!

So at least when you’re hurt, you can cry.  You’ll feel somewhat better afterward! But when you’re angry….do you punch a wall and feel better? Kick your cat? Yell at your kids? None of those things will help.

Anger grows and grows.

But God is with you in the sadness.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

Embrace the sadness and move on. Don’t find reasons to hate or hold grudges. Choose to love and forgive. Don’t pretend like you never cared for the person who hurt you.

“Above all, keep loving each other earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

Peter 4:8

My friend is moving this week, and it may as well be the other side of the world. Only a very long drive or an expensive flight could take me there. No more chats over coffee, no more playdates.

One of the hardest things about this for me (besides seeing my daughter lose yet another friend) is starting over. Cultivating new friendships takes time. Part of me is too tired to try again, but I have a lifetime of friendships ahead of me that will likely come and go.

Looking on the bright side, I now have a little extra time to show kindness and love to new friends!

Here’s what I’ve learned about love and friendship in my several decades of life:

  • You can’t give up on making friends because you always seem to drift apart one way or another, and you get tired of starting over.
  • You can’t stop trusting people because someone let you down.
  • You can’t get tired of feeling like the friend who always puts forth more effort.
  • You can’t retreat from the world when people and relationships in general are just plain old difficult.
  • You can’t expect others to read your mind, and respond in the exact manner you need.
  • You can’t expect others to act in a way that doesn’t come naturally to them. Everyone is a work in progress. Physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  • Loving isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.

It isn’t always easy to choose love over hate, but it makes your life feel a lot fuller.

Loving others, even when it hurts too much, is always worth the pain.

God commands us to love one another, even as He loves us. (John 15:12)

God’s grace is a gift to us (Eph. 2:8)…let’s pass it on.

Love is patient, love is kind...loving isn't always easy.

don't call me supermom

19 comments

  1. Such a great reminder for us all. I was actually upset at someone today. Then I realized I shouldn’t take it personally. I’m one of those who retreats when things get bad–I’m working on that!
    Crystal recently posted…Home Matters #95My Profile

  2. This is so true. I have 4 best friends and we’very all be best friends for 15+ years. we live far apart. We don’t talk everyday but I love them. Once I drove two hours to see her but she ended up standing me up. I was so mad at her and I told her. She said sorry and I was ready to write her off. But then I thought about all the years of friendship and how she was the first one there for me when my mom died and she was at my wedding. I forgave her because God forgives me daily for my sins. Not only that I’m sure there were times I hurt her too and she forgave me. Me and all of my best friends have hurt each other. But I’ve found we are closer after the situation is resolved. As for new friends, I s selectively choose who I let into my life. Since being a military spouse and living in 2 different states I’ve encountered a lot of “friends”. I’ve found most pexpletive aren’t interested in making deep connections. However, God has blessed me with the opportunity to make deep friendships with one person fromay each duty station. Sorry for the long comment. Great post.
    Nikki Crump recently posted…Traveling As A Military FamilyMy Profile

    1. Some people prefer having only one friend at a time- since you don’t always stay at the same place for long, it sounds like one good friend is the best thing. If you spread yourself too thin, you might not develop such lasting relationships. On another note… A very good friend forgot to inquire how me and the baby were doing after I gave birth to my first child….our first conversation after the baby was all about her. About a year later I told her how hurtful that was, and she felt awful. It was a good conversation and we are still friends. Things happen, no one is perfect.

  3. So true, sometimes we forget that we’re all human and a little flawed. Sorry about your friend moving so far away. It hurts but like you said,;it’s gives you time for new friends and a long road trip is always fun.

  4. What a beautiful topic to write about. I loved your comment under the picture about loving others isn’t always easy but it’s always worth it.

    I have I struggled in this area. Making friends and keeping them has always seemed like too much work to me. Because I never put much effort into it I never felt the benefits of having true friendships until the last five years or so. Now, I can’t imagine my life without the few girlfriends that I have. It is an effort to become close to others and even more of an effort to maintain that relationship especially when you have small children but you are absolutely right about it being worth it. Even if the relationship doesn’t last it’s never wrong to be kind and loving towards others.

    This is a beautiful post and I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing!
    Emily recently posted…Managing ExpectationsMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much! It is something I have been struggling in this area lately, too. I think it’s funny I pretend to be writing for others, but really it’s all for me. 😉

  5. I’ve had friends hurt me and most of the time it was completely unintentional on their part. I realized that by holding a grudge and not talking with them about how I felt, it only made things worse. With my husband being in ministry, we have moved around a lot and have had friends move far away. It’s always so hard to get close to someone and then be separated by distance. It does make you not even want to try because starting over is really difficult. I would have missed out on so many beautiful, amazing friendships if I did this!
    Marisa recently posted…Raising Faithful Kids: Trusting The Provider Not The ProvisionMy Profile

  6. Thanks for the reminder! Sometimes I feel like a bad friend just because I put the excuse that life has happened and don’t MAKE time to call up a friend, text or visit them. But then I don’t feel bad if they don’t call me up or don’t text back when I text them. Things come up that we can’t always be with everyone as much as we’d like.

  7. Rachel, i loved reading this! Such an encouraging outlook on friendship and forgiveness! I love how you touch on loosing and gaining new friends and the HUGE difficulties that come with that! I’m glad that eventhough we are far away, I have gained a new friend in you!😀

    1. Thank you! It was on my mind! I’m so glad you enjoyed my post and I’m glad that my blogging is helping me gain new friends like you, too. Since you already live far away, it didn’t bother me at all that you just moved, haha! 😉

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