You know that “I’m not being recognized for my efforts here” feeling you get in the pit of your stomach. It could really be in any part of your life- friends that ignore your nice guestures, bosses that deny the fact you’re doing good work, boys that refuse to like you even though you’re clearly in love with them (which sadly, happened far too often when I was a kid). You can dance around and say, “Look at me! Look at me! Look what I’m doing so that you’ll recognize me!” and still the person ignores you, or worse, denies the fact that you’re doing anything to please them at all by saying, “Yes, I see you but I really could care less.”
I’ve been going through a situation like this lately. I will decline to comment on whether it is in the personal or professional arena- I have experienced similar situations in both. It is heart-wrenching to me to try to show this person love by working hard to impress them and then have them spit venom in my face. My first inclincation is to be spiteful. It would be the easiest thing to do because acting out of anger is fun and makes you feel a little more in control. My second inclination is to stop loving that person. They don’t deserve all this effort that I’m giving, so why try?
As satisfying as it would be to “stick it to ’em”, God asks that we love our enemies. Jesus explains that everyone loves their friends- that isn’t hard. The realy hard part is loving and forgiving people who really don’t deserve it.
God has given me a revelation this week. If I, as an imperfect person, am trying to love another imperfect person and finding it extremely difficult, then how much more difficult is it for God, who is perfect, to love me?
God asks me to recognize what He has done for me everyday. He dances around and gives me things and takes on my worries and cares and He loves me. In return, I sometimes glance over my shoulder at Him, but I do not give Him the recognition that He deserves. We, as imperfect people, are so undeserving of God’s attention and efforts. But when we ignore Him or deny Him, instead of getting mad and giving up on us, He just sighs and says, “Okay. I’ll try again tomorrow” and He says that everyday. That is the extent of God’s love for us.
And that is what I’ll be thankful for this Thanksgiving.