Advent Cards Day 19: When Love Is Difficult

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Mom turned from the sink when she heard a door slam and feet running quickly down the stairs.

“Mom!” Alicia cried as she ran into the kitchen. “Candice is being mean to me, and she even said she hates Christmas!” 

Alicia’s foster mom dried her hands. “I heard some loud voices up there and wondered what that was all about.” 

“I wanted her to help me look for Christmas toys online,” Alicia explained, “but she just got mad and yelled at me.”

Mom poured Alicia a glass of water as they sat at the table. “Honey, Candice just moved into our house a month ago. She’s still having a hard time adjusting to the big changes in her life. You can remember what that’s like, can’t you?” Alicia shrugged as she drank her water. “Christmas can be a hard time for people,” Mom continued. “Instead of being a celebration, it can sometimes remind them of the people and things they have lost.” 

“Oh, like Mrs. Jameson next door?” Alicia asked, remembering how they brought meals to their elderly neighbor after her husband had died.

“Yes, exactly,” Mom replied. “Mrs. Jameson is probably going to have a difficult Christmas this year missing Mr. Jameson. Maybe we can think of a way to show love to her.”

Alicia brightened. “She really likes my chocolate chip cookies! Could I make some for her?” 

“I think that’s a wonderful idea. How about you give some to Candice too?”

Alicia’s face clouded again. “But she was just so mean to me. Why should I make her cookies?”

Mom pointed to a plaque above the sink that read, People need loving the most when they deserve it the least. “Candice may not be acting very loving toward you, but that doesn’t change the fact that she needs our love. Wouldn’t we be in sad shape if Jesus only loved us when we deserved it?” 

“Oh, I guess that’s true,” Alicia agreed. “Sharing chocolate chip cookies is a pretty small thing compared to how much Jesus loves me.” 

Mom smiled. “That’s a great attitude, honey. You go ahead and get started on the cookies while I go upstairs and talk with Candice.”

So how about you?

Do you feel like you should only love people who are loving toward you? That’s not the way Jesus loves us—He showed us His love by coming to earth and dying for our sins when we least deserved it. This Christmas, look for ways to show love to people who might be sad or hurting and perhaps not acting in a loving way toward others. Be like Jesus and love others even when they don’t deserve it.

Key Verse

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Key Thought

Love one another.

Further Reading

John 13:34-35; 1 John 4:7-11

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