I found Jake's blog through the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival. I love the way that he tells stories and leaves it to the reader to come to a conclusion. Today's post is no different. He went such an interesting way with the idea of "difficult relationships" and I'm thankful that he allowed me to host his work here today.
He pisses me off.
No seriously, I kind of want to stab him every time I see him. He and I don’t think alike and he’s so outspoken about the most ridiculous things ever. And he never admits to being wrong. How can any human show the lowest level of humility without admitting to being wrong about something- anything? He can’t have all the right opinions, he’s too stupid.
I avoid him at church. We can’t just pass each other and not talk. No matter what, he’ll say something that will make me want to start a fire. I’ll turn down hallways and make detours all the way around the building to avoid talking to him.
I know I shouldn’t say any of this, but I can’t help it. I’ve nearly bitten my tongue off in an attempt to stay quiet and make it a little less obvious that we’re not really friends. I’ve been nice. I’ve even prayed about it. I’ve asked Jesus to either make me care less or to make him half as annoying. So far, my prayers have not been answered. Maybe I should fast…
Do I hate him? Of course not. I’m a Christian. I love the guy because Jesus said to. In fact, I love him with the Love of my Savior and that’s it. Nothing more, I have no affection to spare for the guy, I mean, obviously. I said I kind of want to stab him, remember?
That conversation is an exaggeration, but it’s only a mild one. I’ve been wondering lately about the relationships that are excessively difficult and about the times when we really only love someone because God wants us to. Obligatory, perfunctory Jesus-Love doesn’t seem to amount to much. If I told someone that I only had a religion-induced, theologized type of affection for him or her, it wouldn’t be much different from saying,
You’re tacky and I hate you.
I’m trying to find out when Jesus’ love became the low-level benchmark of devotion. For some reason, I don’t think he was telling people to love each other and expecting it to be a rule to follow, but rather… something we’d actually be happy to do.
Then again, people can be so annoying sometimes. You can’t love them all, right? Maybe someday I’ll understand it better.
Jake is the kind of Christian who thought he was supposed to be a pastor. Got a degree in communication, then moved on to seminary and is currently taking a break from that. He's interested in the creative processes and loves to write and hopes to challenge believers and non-believers in his approach to everyday Christianity. That mostly means that he says things that get him into trouble, but he tries to be eloquent in the process. The day-job isn't too shabby, he work with refugees from all over the world in an attempt to help them become self-sufficient, happy and safe Americans. Jake blogs at Very Much Later and you can follow him on Twitter as well.
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