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Friday, August 7, 2009

Loving Women That Despise Us

Jesus was asked this question:
"And who is my neighbor?"

Here is His response:

Luke 10:30-37
30 In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.

31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.

32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.

35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

36 "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

37 The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

Mark spoke at a Backyard Bible Blast this week and his message was: "Who is my neighbor?"

He did a great job teaching the kids about helping others and reaching out to those people who need us no matter who they are. Under normal circumstances, the Jews would have had nothing to do with the despised Samaritans, but that was exactly who ended up reaching out to this Jewish man, a despised Samaritan.

I was thinking about this for myself and the girlfriends in my life (including you!), who is my (our) neighbor, and how do we reach out to them?

Looking at the story literally, I can not imagine walking by a woman who is laying there bloody after an attack or having been abused by someone. Of course any one of us would reach out and take care of her wounds.

But let's look at this from another point of view.

What about the women who are hurting emotionally around us? What about those women that are living with pain in their hearts everyday?

It's easy to love the one sitting with us over coffee while tears in her eyes telling us her story of pain. But let's think about the women in our lives that have hurt us. What about the ones who've spoken bad about us or our family. What about the women in our lives that are despised?

AND: What about the women that despise US?

Who is our neighbor?

Will we love those women who have not always been so good to us?
What about the ones who have hurt us?
What about the ones that don't like us at all?

Jesus' message of love goes so much deeper than I have even begun to understand. I pray that He shows you and I how to reach out to women around us that need us, and ultimately that need Him.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that's really timely for me, Sue! I have a neighbor who has had me on my face before God MANY times. It's frustrating....because the feelings that I can feel for her are not Christ-like. She seems to bring out the worst in me...and she's a Believer, too!

To be honest, there are times I think I would be willing to shatter my witness just to be able to "give her a piece of my mind"! Thankfully, during those times God has kept me on a really short leash! I love how He knows me SO WELL! :D

Thanks again!

Praise and Coffee said...

Oh Kelly, I have sooo been there! Actually...yesterday I was there...needing to work on this myself :)

Karyn said...

Thanks Sue, timely here too and an awesome post, I have been thinking about this a lot, how I can overcome my hurt and bitterness at being fooled into believing that I had a friend in Christ, when I discovered that was not the case.

How do you learn to decipher a Godly friend who is really on the same path, from a selfish person who is only looking to better themselves in Christ's eyes, without much concern for the needs of others.

I guess that is "the" question.

Thanks for your words of wisdom that always speak to our hearts.


Kela said...

Told ya I needed this post! I actually do have a woman neighbor that despises me. She hates me so much that she has called DSS (dept. of social svcs.) on me/my family last month. Her accusation?: We're too strict on our children and too religious. Her definition of too religious is that we take God at His Word and that we believe that the husband should be the head of the home.

I have forgiven her. Now I have to work on the thought of caring for her if she should ever need me. I truly don't think that that would be hard to do though.

Peggy Lee said...

Great post today, I am the Women's Leader for our Church and with being a leader we sometimes have to deal with others like this. It's easier to not deal and just go on like nothing ever happen. But that's not me, I press on with them, ask God to Bless them. Even though I may feel hurt, I know that is what God wants me to do. Love on them....

Peggy Lee

Norma said...

Wow..good posting!
I am there now in my life and sometimes that neighbor can be your own family member, such as a sister/brother!
This has been a battle for me for 5yrs now and it is only the amazing Power of God that sustains me. I believe sometimes we do get fed up and I have so badly wanted to let them have it! We have to search our hearts, do we know that even though they have formed weapons against us, when in need we will be there for them?
I have to keep that in my heart! It is impossible for the love of God to be in our hearts and pass by a person in need. Rather they believe or not,this is the time that Christ can be shown the greatest!
This is truly a "hit at home" posting. Gives us something to pray and study scripture about.
Love ya.

Warren Baldwin said...

Very good biblical approach to those "difficult" personalities in our lives. This applies to men, too!

There is a saying that "hurt people hurt people." Behind the snub, the cutting comments, the barbed criticism or stinging gossip is a hurting person.

A great book on this theme is "Bold Love" by Allender and Longman. It is about loving people with difficult personalities and character flaws.

Good post.

Tracy said...

ouch.....I really needed this knowledge and subject to be brought up right now....I have neighbors on each side of me that I am really bitter with, hurting and pondering on how I'll ever get over these feelings of anger, really does give us something to think and pray about....thanks Sue

Leti said...

OUCH!!! I'm with Peggylee - women's ministry; and with Norma-members of my own family (I care for my ill Mom who...)

anyhow lots to ponder...thank you so much for putting this forth. Now to pray for God to change my heart...blessings Sue:-D

Beth Herring said...

This is a message that is always timely. I think we deal with this question on a daily basis.

Sadly, the ones who bring out the worst in us are usually our fellow sisters in Christ!

This was a great post today.

Praise and Coffee said...

So happy to know I'm not alone! :) I was pretty sure others were dealing with this also.

I believe this message is at the heart of what being a Christian is all about...grace.

Nikole Hahn said...

Great blog! The Lord knows I have had alot of dealing with women who are hurtful. I tend to dwell and I try to focus on God's Grace more than my own angry thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sue, thanks for 'following' my blog! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Wow, I feel kind of like a big shot now that I've got a big shot like you reading my stuff! ;)

See you around. God bless and happy blogging.

Anonymous said...

Great post Sue, I thinks hits home for everyone, I for one have a co worker that I need to love:( OUCH!
Thanks for the hard truth:) love ya my friend:)

Flowers said...

Nice blog. Enjoyed going through it. Keep it up the good work. Cheers :)

Praise and Coffee said...

Matt, you're so funny! Keep up the great'll be famous way before me!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

This is such a great post and one I needed to read....really read....thanks for sharing..

Flowers said...

Nice blog. ENjoyed going through it. Keep it up the good work.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

This comes on the heels of yesterday's homily at the daily mass. Our priest noted that people think that they have forgiven when they have not really done so. When someone says, he noted, that they have forgiven but not forgotten, then they have not really forgiven. I forgive easily, but I do sometimes we remember. I think we cannot truly forgive without God's help.

Kela said...

Elizabeth, you make a really good point.
One thing that came to mind just now is that all too many think that to truly forgive someone means that they have to get to a point where they accept what was done to/against them is okay.
It's perfectly fine to acknowledge and say, "NO, what you did to me was wrong and not okay and not acceptable, BUT I forgive you anyway."

Forgiving someone (a friend, neighbor or even extended family member) does not mean that you still have to be in fellowship with them. As is the case with my neighbor.

There are relationships, however, that it is vital that you make ammends (husband, wife, children, parents, siblings) and should strive to work it out.

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