Appreciate Our Loved Ones

  In life, we encounter two kinds of people: those who are true friends and those who are true enemies. Laying aside for the moment the occasional difficulty of categorizing people, let’s think about these two categories (which I freely admit are far too generalized).
  We tend to take our true friends for granted. We forget that love/friendship, whether in the context of friendship, romance, family, etc, is precious. Without it our souls starve.
  We must consistently feed our souls with the meat of giving love, the fiber of conflict, the milk of receiving love, and the bread of compassion towards everyone – both ourselves, and other people or animals.
  So you see, we desperately need loving people, true friends, to walk through life with us. Sometimes they walk with us for only a very short time. Sometimes, for a lifetime. But regardless, while they accompany us, for their soul nourishment and ours, we must openly express to them our loving appreciation, and remind ourselves what a beautiful gift these true friends are.
  But what about those “true enemies” I mentioned earlier? Well, first let me clarify that a true enemy is someone who desires your harm (harm at its essence is malnutrition of the soul).
  These true enemies must not be allowed to harm you! But the formula for conquering them is different than one might think.
  Sadly, many people forget that harm to our soul is lack of love (whether given or received). Other people do not have complete power over our love levels!
  You see, when we encounter a true enemy, we are placed at a crossroads. One road of bitterness and self-pity takes us to love deprivation. The other road of forgiveness and humility takes us to a love surplus, thus empowering us to love others. That will more effectively and satisfyingly overcome true enemies than responding in kind ever could!
  But don’t misunderstand; I’m not by any means saying you should continue to allow your true enemies to try to harm you. Over time, you will find it harder and harder to take the path of love if you continue to be exposed to their harm.
  So it’s okay to tell them they aren’t welcome on your journey until they can come on the same path with you! But do not say this in bitterness, but rather in love towards them as much as anyone. Otherwise, you will defeat the purpose!
  I leave you with 1John 3:11, 18:
  “This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another…. Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.”


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