Sometimes life is hard and I feel like I need a break. But sometimes life is hard because I refuse to do the hard things I need to do to improve my life. For instance, my health may suffer because I won’t do the hard thing and eat healthy. I’d rather eat what I want when I want even though I know I’d feel better later if I would cut down and choose healthy foods.
That’s the way we are. We live in the moment for the moment without thinking about the consequences of our choices. We need to do hard things. Besides choosing to eat healthy, hard things may include dealing with feelings and emotions at times when we’d rather just give in to them.
Couples, especially those with children, would prevent much hurt if they would sit down together and work through their conflicts rather than head for a divorce lawyer. Except for those who are in abusive relationships or consistent infidelity, most problems in a marriage can be worked through. So, you’ve lost your love for one another; that can be regained. I know, I’ve been there. Yes, it’s hard, but the result is better than divorce. Much better.
At a time when my marriage was rough and I felt disdain for the behaviors of my husband, I didn’t feel love for him. I felt anger, hurt, and resentment. But I chose to love. I spoke love to a man who was treating me wrong. I acted like I loved him. And sure enough, eventually my feelings of love returned. Yes, it was hard, but the result allows me to live my ‘golden years’ with the husband of my youth. It didn’t happen overnight, but now he has become the husband he should have been all along. He’s great!
The same principle applies to churches. Jesus prayed that we would be one like He and His Father are one. But what do we do? We have a disagreement and then we go down the road and start a new church so we can do church the way we want it done. Now we have so many different beliefs, and instead of being one, we are divided. Why can’t we do hard things and work together to find a solution to our differences? A woman said to me one time, “We can’t go to church together because we believe differently.” How ridiculous to think such a thing! If you have ten people in your group, you’ll believe something different than someone. We see things in different ways, we feel things in different ways, and we do things in different ways. There’s nothing wrong with that.
We are created equal, but different. But we can work together to disagree agreeably. Can’t we? Can we just work together, love one another, and be in unity as God desires us to be? No wonder other people consider us hypocrites and laugh at our weaknesses. Strength comes with unity and love, and love doesn’t mean we accept or agree with everything people think we should. Tolerance isn’t acceptance, it’s enduring things and beliefs with which we don’t agree.
Let’s toughen up, grow up, and do hard things. Let’s work together to find ways we can agree and stay together in our marriages and in our churches. We need to show the world that God is good, and strong, and loving. We will do that when we meet in the middle of the road and get our acts together. DO HARD THINGS!