Why, indeed. Maybe it’s because I struggle to understand the kind of love Jesus preached. Could be because I see so little of it in the world. Mostly, it’s because of Jesus.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. ….. Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13 (http://bible.com/116/1co.13.4-13.NLT)
Man. If we could just absorb those 5 verses into our heads and our hearts! Imagine what life would be like if everyone on earth embraced this….. Imagine if just those professing to be Christian were to live it! This world would be a completely different place. Think about it. In practical terms: no cursing or gesturing when a driver swerves or cuts us off or stops without warning. No rudeness to people who don’t dress as nice as we do, or maybe they smell bad, or are offensive in other ways to us. Waiting in line without grumbling or being impatient. No more lawsuits (sorry, lawyers, but we wouldn’t need you!).
Smiles, nods of acknowledgment from everyone we come in contact with. Hearing “Thank you” and “You’re welcome.” Finding a positive comments for each person we speak to. Wow. Can you imagine how much more productive we would be?
It does take a whole lot of effort, people. In fact, just a smile can make a huge positive impact on someone who is having a bad day, and a “hello” or “good morning” can literally change your day, both yours AND the person it is directed to. In my last position, we had a VP who took the time to walk the floor when she was in the office, and take time to speak to every person there. She had tremendous demands on her time, and yet made sure to give us her attention, even for the seconds it too to say good morning to each individual. It always improved my day, and I am convinced it enhanced my productivity. On the other hand, my immediate supervisor began skipping me when she would say hello to her team. She would stop and speak to the people all around me, but when I would speak to her, she made it very clear in her expressions that I was an imposition and a nuisance. My performance suffered greatly when that happened.
The bottom line? Pay attention to yourself. Make an effort to smile and be pleasant, even if you aren’t having a great day. Smiling can do wonders for your outlook, and it makes you look better, too! Love because Jesus taught us to. We don’t have to like a person or their behavior to love them. Make the effort to learn these verses and apply them. You may never realize it, but your smile could be just the thing to turn a life that is upside down, right side up. Love, even when we don’t like.