Oh, how upset, annoyed, irritated, and self-pitying I was when I moved into a place and discovered the woman who lived in the place over me had “loud feet”. Every time she walked, it sounded like hammering on my ceiling! And I am sensitive to noise and easily distracted!
I asked her once politely if she could please walk lighter to reduce the noise. Things got worse not better. The longer this went on, the more I focused on myself and how inconvenienced I felt. And the more I missed an incredible opportunity God would bring to light.
One day something astonishing happened. I felt I couldn’t take the noise anymore and planned to message her to beg her to do something about her loud feet. But shockingly, by the love and power of the Holy Spirit, I found myself sending an entirely different message than I planned. I told her she was on my heart and asked how I could pray for her!
I had been so consumed with myself and with being upset and with what I wanted that I had failed to see my neighbor as a fellow human being whom I am to love and serve with the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. In my selfishness and self-centeredness I had simply seen her as interfering with what I wanted and felt I needed.
When my neighbor quickly replied with a prayer request, I cried out to God for her with my heart filled with love for her! Never mind the loud feet. I had fervent love for my neighbor and wanted God’s very best for her! I could not have been more thrilled at the opportunity to truly love my neighbor as myself! God had changed my heart!
Maybe one day God would lead me to lovingly ask her again to do something about the noise, but something far more important had happened. God had lovingly and mercifully helped me to look past myself to Him and to my neighbor whom I now truly love and desire to pray for as the Lord leads me.
Is the Lord bringing anyone to mind you have been upset with, irritated with, hurt by, stressed out about, etc. whom He wants you to love, serve, and pray for instead?
“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,” 1 Peter 1:22 NKJV
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 NKJV