On Loving Porcupines


For good reason, porcupines are not pets. I mean, they’re not exactly snugly…

But, in His wisdom, we have each been assigned our very own precious porcupine – people who are downright painful to love.

--So how does one love a porcupine?--

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.
Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting
as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”
Luke 6:34-36

I tried to love a porcupine... but  I got poked a lot. Alot.  Finally, to save myself further agony, I decided to forego the effort. It was clearly a waste of time anyway to love someone so unappreciative… 

Oops. 
Something profound happened 
in that moment of decision. 

I thought I was trading in my expectations. I really did. But instead, I gave up on the person. I deemed them as a ‘waste of time’, rather than tossing my expectations. They couldn't meet my demands, so I threw them away as waste.

 “For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. 
Matthew 7:2

“There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.James 2:13

These sobering truths snap me awake to mercy –I desperately need it. Others need it. Porcupines too.

In the name of Jesus, I revoked the labels I had assigned. I replaced them with God’s true labels. Everything God made has a purpose and will accomplish what He wants it to. (Isaiah 55:8-11). All He made is good. (Gen 1:31)

The challenge now, is the stickiness of those original labels. They don’t just come off. I’ll have to work at this. Every time I think of that porcupine, I must consciously choose to change my thoughts. This is work folks. The kind of work that makes me feel like I’ll never get it right.

But I’m comforted in this sticky mess, by the love of the One training me.

"But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way."
Hebrews 12:10

“…My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,
      and don’t give up when he corrects you.
  For the Lord disciplines those he loves,

      and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?”
Hebrews 12:5,6,7

He just knows, doesn’t He? I am tempted to give up (aka hide … for weeks), because I know I’ll never live up to His holy standards. I needed to hear from Him ‘don’t give up’ and that I am His loved, accepted child.

God, thank you for forgiving me. Help me to value each person, prickly or not. You do not have favourites. Teach me to love like that. I can NOT do that without your power. Shape me Lord, and please be patient with me. I will be merciful as you have shown me great mercy. I will love as you have loved – you loved first. You loved me when I hated you. Renew my mind – create in me a clean heart God – one of love. 

.

6 comments:

journeytoepiphany said...

You friend, are kind...your desire to please Him is beautiful.

Amy Sullivan said...

It's funny through church today I was thinking and thinking about one of my hard to love porcupines. I don't want to give up on them or keep a distance between us, but ouch! It hurts sometimes you know?

From The Heart Online said...

I hear you Amy. Been wrestling with that boundary for awhile... It does hurt. And how much do I need to subject myself to? It's a tough one.

From The Heart Online said...

Thanks journey. I sure don't feel kind... Thankfully that's an attribute God can create in a new heart... :)

The Unknowngnome said...

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. (2 Ch 15:7 )

From The Heart Online said...

TUG - Thank you. Your encouragement is precious like gold! :)

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