Holidays are exciting and challenging all at the same time. I was visiting with my friend and publisher Jeremy regarding my upcoming book release of "Just As You Are." I had shared with him that now is a hard time to get things done in promoting my book with Christmas a week away. Jeremy said, "Lisa you are a teacher, and my wife and I as well as others need to hear how do you survive the holidays; such as shopping, Christmas cards, or getting a long with loved ones at holiday gatherings."
Prior to my conversation I had just posted on my Face Book Ministry Page a Scripture verse from 1 John 4:19, "We love Him because, He first loved us." I followed with some thought that we are to love others unconditionally and the only way we can affectively love like this is by going to the source, which is Jesus.
Have you ever loved someone unconditionally, but they can only love conditionally. It feels exhausting as you try to love them past their judgments, criticisms, and conditions. You can't seem to earn their unconditional love even after decades of years trying. The holidays can test you with such situations; what is one to do without feeling hopeless and wounded? I had been tested with such a situation this week, and I will share with you what I did in hopes it may help if the situation arises.
1. Pray as their critical and hurtful words are being spoken. Ask Jesus to come into their heart and heal their wounds and any emptiness they are experiencing.
2.Pray that their words do not stick and cause harm to you and your spirit.
3. As hard as it is to understand, this is not about you. It is about them and any unhappiness they are experiencing. Keep praying for them. Remember Jesus is the only one who can heal them. There is nothing you can do to make them love you unconditionally, it truly is an inside job that needs the great Doctor to heal.
4. It is okay to have boundaries. You do not have to be a welcome mat to be trampled on. If critical words come your way, confront them on it. If that doesn't seem to work, then try changing the subject; ring your doorbell (if you are on the phone) to excuse yourself; or you have an appointment you have to run off to do.
Jesus has the kind of love that we and others need. None of us deserve a gift of love such as this. Our Emmanuel came to us in human flesh to show us the way of love so we could freely love and give such love away. His love, and only His love, will heal and save us all.