I have issues. It bugs me when people stand really close to me. I don’t like people messing with my hair. It drives me crazy when, in an empty public restroom with a dozen stalls, the next person in chooses the stall right next to me.
Like I said…I have issues.
I have bigger issues than the ones I mentioned above, however. I’m stubborn–and it’s not easy to overcome. I’ve finally come to grips with the fact that I’m mad at God right now–and that’s not a fun one to deal with. I’m tired of adapting, changing, flexing, and sacrificing to meet other people’s needs–I want life to be about me for a change.
Like I said…I have issues. I’m not proud of them. I’m not flaunting them. I wish I didn’t have them. But the truth is I struggle with them just like you struggle with yours.
Everybody has issues.
Your friend has issues. She’s insecure as all get out. Your spouse has issues. He/she is arrogant, insensitive, and controlling. Your co-worker has issues. She’s overbearing and doesn’t let you get a word in edgewise. Your neighbor has issues. He lies constantly. You wonder why he feels the need to do that. The lady in your bible study has issues. She’s got a root of bitterness bigger than Dallas, but hides it as best she can. Your nephew has issues. He’s into pornography, but doesn’t see the harm in it.
Everybody has issues. And issues present us with an interesting enigma.
The question is, can you see past my issues? Can you overlook your co-worker’s issues? Can you embrace your neighbor despite his issues? Can you be kind to the lady in your bible study regardless of her issues? Can you get along with your friend even though she has issues?
Here’s what I have found to be true in this interesting enigma: issues exist…but love endures. At least a Christ-like love does.
Jesus loved His disciples. That was probably pretty easy for Him. But you know what? They had issues. Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Again, pretty easy for Him. But Martha certainly had issues, and Jesus brought those into light.
Jesus also loved the rich young man who ended up walking away from Him–materially wealthy, but eternally bankrupt. Ouch!
Jesus had compassion on all sorts of people who had all sorts of issues. He hung out with sinful people. He touched “unclean” people. He embraced the ones who were far from perfect. He did life with people who were self-absorbed, broken, messed up, whacked out, and didn’t buy what Jesus was selling.
They had issues. They had struggles. They had challenges. They had problems. They had difficulties. Their lives were not pretty little packages wrapped up with pretty little bows.
Can we have compassion like Jesus did on others who have issues? Can we hang out with people like Jesus did who are far from perfect? Can we do life with people like Jesus did who have hang-ups, problems, and struggles? Can we embrace people like Jesus did who don’t even acknowledge Jesus?
Can we love like Jesus? Regardless…in spite of…even though…
Issues exist. Love endures.
Go love like Jesus!