Ever had someone in your life that you have to deal with, you have to work with, you have to see regularly at school functions and you just don't like them?
It isn't that they've done anything horrible to you.
They're just... annoying.
Or maybe there is someone in your circle of influence who has caused you harm... or someone you have caused harm... or someone that you have seen hurting others.
Maybe someone who makes choices you simply can't understand, don't understand, are baffled by.
Someone who isn't necessarily toxic or dangerous to you... but someone that you generally prefer not to spend time with or have to work alongside.
Are you thinking of someone yet?
That annoying co-worker or ex-boss... that family member that just grates your nerves... that friend of a friend who is always crashing your plans...
Here's the challenge...
I want you to pray for them. Every day. For the next week, at least. Maybe even longer. 30 days.
Admit to God that you are struggling to love this person as He loves them.
Ask Him to fill your heart with His love so that you can see this person through His eyes.
Ask Him to guide your thoughts and words and actions so that you are welcoming, affirming, and loving in all interactions with and about this person.
Pray this way every single day, maybe multiple times each day.
And see if your heart hasn't changed by the end.
See if you aren't starting to see this person in a slightly different light.
See if your heart hasn't started to soften a bit towards them.
Praying for someone that you just don't really like that much is a step towards forgiveness. It's a step toward self-growth. It's a way of stretching yourself (and it might be uncomfortable to bring this annoying or even disliked person into your intimate time with Christ).
Write that person's name down on a slip of paper. Put it in your wallet or somewhere you might see it from time to time. And whenever you see it, pray for them. If you keep a prayer list or journal, add them to it. And in a week, write down ho wyou are feeling towards them. Make note of any interactions that were different than the last time. And in another week, think about how you are feeling towards that person, how you interact with them, how you feel when they are around.
Start with 7 days. And maybe be bold enough to stretch it to 14 days... or even a full month.
Ask God to make big changes inside of you for the sake of benefiting someone else.
I dare you!