It’s really hard to find the motivation to send Christmas presents to a person who hates you. Have any of you ever done it? Buying presents for the person that doesn’t like you can be a struggle, but you’re in the store anyway buying gifts for others and so you get caught up in the moment and suddenly giving them a gift doesn’t seem that bad. In fact, if you talk yourself into the right attitude it can seem like a noble gesture. You’re being the better person. You’re embracing the spirit of the season and you’re living out Jesus’ command to love those persecute you.
But then you get home. All the presents get wrapped. During the season there are Christmas parties and lunches. You see your friends and relatives and one by one you give each person their present. But the ones for that person who hates you sit under the tree untouched. This person – thankfully lives far away so you aren’t going to see them this year. The presents will have to be mailed. You’ll have to get a box. Tap (which you have somewhere, but who knows where). You’ll need to figure out where you put that slip of paper that has the address. Not to mention going to the post office. If you’re like me and work downtown – that means walking 6 blocks. And of course it’s been raining and the building with the post office isn’t connected to the tunnel system.
Do you see all these hurdles? All the hoops you are going to have to jump through to get these gifts to this person who hates you? This person - who isn’t going to hate you any less anytime soon. It’s hard. There is no payoff. No warm and fuzzy emotion waiting on the other end, just a long line at the post-office and a high shipping fee you’d rather not have to pay.But you do it anyway. Because you love your kid and your kid loves this person who hates you. Because you know that it’s the “right” thing to do. Because Jesus’ command to love rings loudly in your ears. Even if you can’t bring yourself to actually love the person, you know that you have to at least try.