The other day, I recalled an unforgettable experience I had back in the sixth grade. I was walking down the school hallway when an older girl whom I had never even seen before suddenly approached me and threatened, "I'm going to beat you up!" My stunned response was, "Why?" She answered, "I don't like the way you act!" Before I could really process my thoughts, I said, "I'll change!" She stared at me, slowly turned around and walked off, and I never saw her again!
That's just what came up out of me. Had I had time to think about it, I might have said, "I'm not changing! I don't even know who you are, and you don't know me!" But it's interesting how that simple answer of humility brought healing and resolution. Had my reaction been confrontational or disrespectful, she wouldn't have changed (and I would have gotten beat up!). Over the years, I've come to see that the loving attitude of our heart toward others can bring desired changes to them, but not always. However, even if they don't change, I can tell you that you'll change. And that's what matters the most to God! He's not going to ask us how many people we changed, but whether we walked in love.
The Scripture says, "Those who are kind benefit themselves" (Proverbs 11:17 NIV). One translation says, "Your own soul is nourished when you're kind." When you're good to people, you bring healing to them, and you nourish your own soul. You're breaking down walls and barriers that would keep you limited.In this world that is so full of conflict, we need to step back and say, "I'm going to be loving toward people, especially difficult, unlovable people." Look for opportunities to be good to not only the difficult people in your life but also tthose who are in your own backyard, or a coworker, or a neighbor who could use your help. The Scripture says "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act" (Proverbs 3:27 NIV). God wants you to give your love to all those around you because that's where the healing comes in.