By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

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How to Love Someone Who Irritates You

What is love, and how do we truly exhibit love?

I think we all go on these love craves during which we desire to show God's love as much as we can. We have an encounter with love and want to pour out love every second we get and then we then don't pour out His love as well as we should.

I believe God's love becomes a fad like a W.W.J.D. bracelet. They were a hot item for a while and probably made the creator a lot of money. They then, however, wore out naturally and spiritually.

Aren't we supposed to be all about God's love? The first place we can start being about God's love is in the home. How can we show God's love in the world if we are not showing it in our own home? What does this mean? It means spending time with your loved ones.

In the day and age of modern technology, we can be in a room together with one another, but are we with each other? No. We have our laptops on, phones within reach and a movie or video game on the TV screen. How is this showing love?

What about getting irritated with our family members? Should we snap, get angry, have sharp tones and comments and get irritated with what another person said or did? Is that truly showing God's love? I think that is where the W.W.J.D. bracelets come in. How would Jesus react to another family member? The answer is with love.

We need to learn how to extend and be love to those people who sometimes "drive us nuts," to those "we can't stand to be around" and to those who"drain us emotionally." But why do we even feel that way about "those people?"

I was talking to the Lord recently about whom the world would label "high maintenance people to whom we need to extend a little extra grace." I mean the people who don't seem to want to do anything for themselves or who ask you to pray for them all the time. How many times do you want to shout back at them: "Pray for yourself! You have two lips and a tongue!"

In all seriousness, why do we get irritated with them? Because we do not love enough and because we do not love as Jesus loves.

When will we get back to the place of compassion and love; of pouring ourselves out on people and truly serving them and being a channel of love? When will we do it right? When will we love like Jesus loved? When will we be a stream of constant love?

You know why those people do the things they do to us; because they need love. They are hurting, lonely, rejected, insecure, inferior and they need love. They need someone to pour into them. They need someone to invest in them and to say, "You know what, you are valued and loved, and you are important to me." They should be important to you because they are God's children. Aren't you supposed to love as He loves?

I challenge you to be love. You know who that person is who maybe you would rather have not bug you so much. Perhaps you would be happy if they were not in your life. I want you to love them abundantly. I want you to make them your love assignment. Be nice to them. Go out of your way to love on them and pray for them. Pray that God would give them a love encounter and that they would receive the love of God that comes through other people in their lives.

Make it a practice and a way of living to outlove the other person. Think about how much you are loved. I want you to pour that much love out, that you outlove the person next to you, who loved on you. Yes, a love mission. Learn to outlove the next person. Learn to be love; and when you think you accomplished your mission, when you think you have achieved love, ask the Lord to help you love even more, because it's all about L-O-V-E!

Kathy DeGraw is the founder of DeGraw Ministries, a ministry releasing the love and power of God. She travels hosting conferences, teaching schools and evangelistic love tours. Kathy empowers people to release and be love with her #belove campaign. Kathy enjoys writing and is the author of several books that educate, empower and equip people, including A Worship Woven Life and Flesh, Satan or God. Connect with Kathy at degrawministries.org.

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