I got pelted with a racquetball so hard recently that it left a welt on the back of my leg for several weeks. I often get hit, but this was the mother of all shots. Usually you just make a little joke & go on; but for this one I had to “walk it off.” Typically, I’d guess I get hit with a ball about every third time I play; on this particular day I was struck five times.
When my wife saw the mark (three days later) she thought I had been bitten by an infected tick because of the bullseye design the ball had left behind. You might think that would be enough to cause a person to take up a different hobby, maybe stamp collecting. Not me, I’m not that bright.
The degree to which you love something determines how much pain you are willing to endure in order to maintain the relationship. In today’s sermon I’m going to propose that when it comes to loving people, we learn to increase the love while reducing the pain. Simple changes in our attitudes toward the people we are supposed to love can do wonders.