After a hard workout, it's feels good to jump in the shower and get clean. A hot shower is one of life's pleasures and necessities, if we want friends. I admit I don't enjoy workouts but know they are necessary, but I do love a good shower. Not everyone loves to take a bath. I read a letter in Dear Abby about a coworkers who use perfume instead of soap! Those in the same office nearly choked on her body odor.
Nearly everyone agrees that personal hygiene is important But Christians have another kind of hygiene they must be careful about. Peter wrote that we should "love one another fervently from a pure heart." That is impossible to do in our own strength. Thankfully, when the Lord commands us to do something He supplies the where-with-all to do it.
"Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord's mighty power within you" (Eph. 6:10 TLB). This is the answer for spiritual strength.
When I feel weak or tired and exhausted but still have work to do, I pray and ask the Lord to be my strength. I have found that He answers that prayer. But there is no sudden burst of strength or unusual happening. As I continue my work there is simply necessary strength to get it done.
How about loving "one another fervently from a pure heart." Now that is hard to do with some people who irritate and aggravate. There are two parts to this verse. First our heart must be pure toward others. No selfish motives, or be nice in order to get something we want, will do. Then we are commanded to love fervently. This takes prayer! For it is impossible for us, but possible with the Lord who dwells in your heart.
God never commands us to do something that He doesn't supply the power to obey. Since He is love and lives in the heart of Christians, we can ask Him to fill us with His love for people. We will probably have to confess our sin of not even liking the person, much less loving them. Confession is for our spirit what a good shower is for our body. We are clean inside as well as out.
Then with a clean heart filled with the love of God, we can do more than tolerate people. We learn to look at their good qualities instead of concentrating on what they do that we don't like. And remember God loves all sorts of people, even those who are different from us.
Memory Verse: "And so I am giving a new commandment to you now - love each other just as much as I love you" (John 13:34 TLB)
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that I know you are love. Fill my clean heart with love so I can obey your command. Thank you for loving and putting up with me. With you grace enabling me I can do more than put up with people.
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