Come Sit With Me

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Being human is hard. Being in relationships with other humans is even harder. And it just seems to be getting more complicated every day.

Sometimes the unspoken tensions between us make it difficult to breathe. The tiny fractures. Silent assumptions. Fresh wounds or decades of scars. A widening divide between sisters and brothers, husbands and wives, neighbors, coworkers, college roommates, online acquaintances, best of friends and could-be friends. Do you feel it? Do you know how to move through it?

We each come to the kitchen table, the bus stop, the office coffeepot, or the church potluck with our own gifts and our own junk. We carry the weight of past hurts, strong opinions, and well-founded fears. We also carry with us our unique and delightful differences. We show up to board rooms and living rooms with our distinct languages and cultures, personality types and perspectives, experiences and convictions.

Both the beautiful and the broken parts of our stories can make connecting with others challenging—or sometimes infuriating, disheartening, or just plain impossible.

The apostle Paul gave this sound advice about what it looks like to love well:

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! (Rom. 12:9–16 NLT)

What would it look like to live this out? How would our hearts change if we set aside arguing in comment threads and sat next to one another instead? How might our world change if we would all agree to be people who both celebrate and weep with our friends, coworkers, and neighbors before ever trying to convince, correct, or lobby our agendas?

Loving others isn’t easy. Jesus never said it would be. But He did call us to do it, and therefore we know it will be worth it. “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34–35 NLT).

And perhaps this love begins by just acknowledging the tension we feel and sitting in that tension together.