Recently it's felt like my faith has been under fire -a test of sorts to see if I can actually practice the very things I claim to believe. It's been happening in various ways, but I'll elaborate on a specific way now.
I realize it's easier to be kind to people who are kind, or at least neutral, to us. The challenge, of course, lies in demonstrating kindness and love to those we deem unlovely. And so I find myself dealing with a few challenging individuals. They're in the periphery of my life, which is to say that while we're not in close contact, I encounter them on a regular basis.
Feeling frustrated on my walk home from work tonight, I knew I needed something to motivate me. Is it any surprise that while reading a book by another author, I stumbled upon this quote from my one of my heroes:
Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. -C.S. Lewis
The book I was reading was The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. These words of his were particularly timely and resonated with me:
Love is a choice, not a feeling.