We all handle our relationship problems in one of three ways: flee, fight, or forgive. Some choose to flee. They leave the relationship and start again elsewhere, though they are frequently surprised when the problem resurfaces in the new relationship. Others fight. As a result, their relationships become combative, and stress becomes a way of life. Wise people choose the way of Christ: ‘Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.’ (John 13:1 NKJV)
Was it difficult for Jesus to stay so dedicated to His disciples? Was it difficult for Him to love Peter, knowing he would someday curse Him? Was it tough to trust Thomas, knowing he would someday question His resurrection? How did Jesus resist the urge to recruit a new group of followers? John wanted to crush one enemy, and Peter sliced off the ear of another. Only days before Jesus’ death, His disciples were fighting about which of them was the best!
How was He able to love people who were sometimes difficult to like? The answer is that Jesus didn’t measure them by their looks, IQ, talent, possessions, or personality. He measured them by their potential. And ultimately, they changed and lived up to His expectations. Not in all things or at all times. But when that happened, He forgave them and taught them that love is a commitment we make to ourselves first and then to others.