Friday, August 26, 2016
love vs annoyance
He says that one of the best ways for our enemy to get us not to love each other is by working up the things that annoy us about one another. And he's right, of course. We all have little mannerisms and expressions that can annoy other people. My brother doesn't like the sound of other people eating. When he is eating with others, he has to divert his attention or the sound of the slurping and crunching of other's meals will drive him to extreme annoyance.
And, of course, we have to choose to love instead. It's so easy to become so annoyed by someone else's habits that we grow to hate them. It's sad, but most of the murders that happen in the world are between people who know each other. And domestic violence grows out of this annoyance taken to its horrible, logical conclusion. But if we choose to love, even when others are annoying us the most, we learn to "die to ourselves" (put away our own selfishness and ignore our annoyance) and love others, warts and all.
My brother told me of a time when he was on mission with a friend, and they ate most of their meals together. The friend was a VERY loud eater, slurping his meals with gusto. Brian could easily have grown to hate this person in that time. But instead, he chose to love him, and they're still friends to this day. That doesn't mean that Brian loves spending time with him. But he does care about him and wishes him the best.
Sometimes that's what love means. It doesn't always mean that we like the other person. We will have personality conflicts. We will be annoyed with each other sometimes. But love means wanting good for the other person, helping them, doing good things for them, even if we don't particularly like them at the moment. Loving people is all the nicer when we like them, too.
God, thanks for helping us to love and to put away our annoyances.