How can you love someone you don’t like? Fran is running into that problem at work. This on-going story is told to remind all of us that Jesus is with us at all times and we need to be aware of his presence. It truly makes a difference, as Fran has learned many times.
Today Fran is rushing to get a proposal revised and her assistant, Joyce, tends to be lazy and less than helpful. Expecting a negative reaction, Fran heaves a sigh and heads to Joyce’s desk. “Joyce, here’s the last changes to the Walton proposal. Please make those changes and re-print it for me. I’ll need it before you leave today if you don’t mind,” Fran says, trying to sound pleasant.
“If I don’t mind?” Joyce replies. “Well, I do mind. It’s 4:00 and I leave here at 4:30. Why’d you wait so late to give it to me?” Joyce snatches it from Fran’s hand as she slowly puts down the magazine she was reading.
“Joyce, I just got the changes from Marilyn. You know it needs to be done today. Sorry, but that’s the way it is,” Fran says with irritation in her voice.
Jesus nudges Fran’s arm. Remember, sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. Jesus brings a verse from Proverbs to her mind.
But, Lord, she replies, all I’m asking is for her to do her job. If she’d get busy, she could have it done in less than an hour. I just don’t feel like babying her; she doesn’t deserve it.
If you run on your feelings, Fran, Jesus reminds her, you’ll never be able to love people you don’t like. Love is an action. Do the right thing—whether you feel it or not.
Fran turns to Joyce again and, with great effort, says, “Look, Joyce, I know it’s late; I wish I could have gotten it to you sooner. But I really would appreciate your help. I don’t think you’ll have to work much past 4:30. I’ll be in my office if you have any questions.”
“Much better,” Jesus whispers to Fran.
She says, “Well, I said it through clinched teeth.”
“That’s okay,” he replies, “you acted the way love should act, not the way you felt.”
“Well,” she whispers back, “I would never have done it if you hadn’t been here.”
“That’s the whole idea, Fran,” Jesus says to her. “That’s why I’m with you all the time—to give you the power to do what you could never do by yourself.”
Joyce’s voice almost startles Fran. “Okay, well, yeah—okay, I’ll try to get it done.”
Fran can see a slight change in her attitude. “Thanks, Joyce,” she says.
Loving people you don’t like isn’t easy, but it’s whole lot easier than the other way.