I have mentioned several times that I am an introvert. By nature, I am pretty anti-social, so although the neighbors would invite me to join their little soirees, I always politely declined and prepared to wear my earplugs through the night, so that I would try to sleep. One night, I arrived home rather late and they were outside. I pointed out to them that my window was right above where they were sitting and even quoted back to them some of the conversations that they had with one another to prove how loudly they were talking. We agreed that if they were too loud, I would call one of them before I called the police.
Well, that agreement didn’t last very long. I called, but they didn’t get any quieter. I would call the police, but they did nothing to stop it. I prayed and prayed that they would just move, but they stayed there and the issue got worse and worse. At one point, I asked anybody who would listen if when Jesus said love your neighbor, He meant your literal neighbor because surely, I could not be expected to be kind to these people who had no respect for me.
After about three years, the main culprits of the noise broke up and moved out. The other neighbors had a baby and settled down quite a bit. One day, I noticed that the environment had changed. Now, though I still don’t attend their parties, my neighbors and I speak and are cordial with one another. I believe we have grown to respect one another. And, although I used to call the police on them, I never lost my cool with them. We never got into an argument or a shouting match. I never lost my religion in front of them. I just continued to pray for them (and for my sanity).
Loving people who are nice to you is easy. Loving people who hate you, have little to no respect for you, and love to inconvenience you seems impossible. But, it is not with God’s help. I did not like my neighbors’ actions, but I knew that I could never let them pull me out of my godly character. So, that stopped being an area where the evil one could pick at me. In order to be more like Christ, we have to learn to love some people that seem pretty unlovable. The easiest way to do that is to consider how unlovable we are at times, yet God still loves us and blesses us. Love God. Love people. The struggle will never be in vain; you will grow another level of character that you never knew existed within you. Ms. EV