Day 4 – Step Into Freedom – Love Anyway

By October 19, 2016Life Lessons

I know I’m not the only one who has felt betrayed by a friend. And when the friendship has been so close and solid, the whole matter can be confusing. Hurtful. And it can be hard to decide how to “be” toward that person. 

Yes, we may tumble through a series of emotions. Revenge and pay-backs my enter our minds. We may even want to punish the person for their behavior against us. More wrestling. More confusion. More hurt. 

The truth is that our retaliation or negative response won’t serve anyone. We may feel vindicated for a while, but then the sting will remain in us. And that’s what we are stuck with if we choose to act from the flesh rather than faith.

So what do we want to do when people hurt us, betray us, or disappoint us?  

Love anyway. 

Let me first say that when we “love anyway” are aren’t allowing abuse or mistreatment. We aren’t allowing disrespect or unkindness. Instead, when we love anyway, we are coming from a place of strength. It’s a peaceful place where God resides in us. And our treatment toward the offender is less about them and their deeds and much more about us and our character. A character that is modeled upon Jesus and shaped by God and His truth. 

Love anyway. Settle into this confident and safe place. And then respond to the person with truth and respect and kindness — because that’s who YOU are. It’s not about what that person deserves. It’s not about getting back at him or her. It’s about standing in your solid character and speaking truth.

I was reminded of this truth just last week. A close and important friend was acting in a way that frankly was very self-centered. The rippling effects of the behavior started hitting me and that’s when I felt uncared for, disrespected, and devalued. That’s not the way friends should treat friends! 

I rode the roller coaster of emotions (admittedly, my flesh was taking the joy ride of revenge and hurt). But then, in the middle of the night I awoke with “love anyway” in my heart. Those two simple words carried paragraphs of truth to my soul. The message was the correction I needed — and also really wanted.

So late in the night I made a decision to love this person anyway. To respond to the situation from this place of strength and truth, rather than go negative. 

What was the outcome? My friend and I had a very honest and real conversation where we both shared what was going on for us. We both were able to explain how we felt and also what we needed. Our discussion was not flowery. In fact, it was tough at times. However, it created the materials to build the bridge that took us back to the deep and trusting bond we had shared for so many years. 

Loving anyway requires us to step back. To consider the ways of Jesus. And then to allow God to lead us forward. Loving anyway is what Paul taught the Corinthians:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

When we allow the Spirit of God to have His way in us, we can love anyway. Even though we may do some roller coaster riding first, we can still get to that solid place of  God’s truth and let that be our foundation and the ground on which we stand. 


Please share your thoughts below. I value your input and your messages can help so many others. 

79 Comments

  • Rasheida Washington says:

    There are no coincidences with God……I am just getting around to reading this and it couldn’t be more on time. I am struggling in my marriage and want to throw in the towel but this has truly encouraged me to “love anyway”
    Thanks Susan

  • Kim West says:

    Susan Happy New year. I am so excited because before last night I wanted to give up on my relationship, I really did. Everything was telling me to give up and throw in the towel because it hurt. But God, but love. I’m starting the Daniel fast tomorrow and ordered the daily devotional to assist in this fast. But reading your articles is so breathtaking and is really helping me as I start this journey. Thank you

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Kim,

      I’ve been where you are. Relationships can be tough. But when we love anyway, we are true ourselves and true to the Lord.

      Be blessed, dear one.

    • Brianna Taylor says:

      Dear Kim,
      I am currently in the same boat as you. I too felt the need to just throw in the towel on my relationship..I even felt that way this morning, but this article and your comment has really encouraged me. I started my fast Jan 8th and it has really been a struggle but I believe God for the both of us. I will keep you in my prayers as well! Thank you so much!

  • Gwendolyn says:

    Thank you so much Susan – I am a little behind again on reading my emails – but regardless of that your message is still on time and on point – I am going through some things on my job with my supervisor who continues to treat me indifferent and discriminate against me because of his title and he feels that he has the power to do it – I know that he does not have the power nor the last word, my
    Father does – Even though he does this – I know in my heart I have to continue to love him – it may be hard sometimes but I know I have to continue to show love – This has been going on so long but I know when my Father gets tired of it – it will cease – I know that everything happens for a reason and I have accepted that fact – I know in the end everything will be alright – sometimes we have to go through trials and tribulations to be able to accept what God has in store for us -Again I thank you so much for this message it was very much needed –

  • JO ANN ELLIOTT says:

    Thanks I really needed to hear this message, along time friend of mines said some very hurtful things about me and others. I did not know how to confront her on this without it turning into a big argument. I just stop speaking to her for a few months, but thing is I felt really bad that no one said any thing even I this kept me up some nights, I prayed about it and God stepped in and a few weeks ago. My mom went into the hospital , and I don’t know how she found out but she called me wanting to know was it okay to come an sit with me, of course I said yes, we talked about the situation she said she did even realize that what she said had hurt anyone feelings. She was wondering all of a sudden no one was speaking to her, so I felt bad I really should had brought this to her sooner than letting it go for as long as it did. So to say Susan I really thank you for this message, we are now on speaking turns again but I assure you if this happens again she or I will be confronted right away. God Bless and Amen

  • Shirley henry says:

    This is one of my biggest problem, forgiving and moving on from what ever the situation. I think I have come a long way but need much more healing. I personally think this particular part: “Love anyway. Settle into this confident and safe place. And then respond to the person with truth and respect and kindness — because that’s who YOU are. It’s not about what that person deserves. It’s not about getting back at him or her. It’s about standing in your solid character and speaking truth.” I would like to think that I am definitely a loving person but why not learn to free myself from the hurts and disappointments. Thanks for this article and I pray that God will continue to work in me.

  • Michelle says:

    I have an affirmation that I state each morning and sometimes all throughout the day which ends with the words “…love others and give of yourself, especially when it hurts”. Today before reading your article, I was thinking about the phrase -especially when it hurts. I could not understand why I had added that or decided to use those words. One of the first things i think about with the phrase is a very painful situation that you choose to remain in day-in and day-out. You remain there because there may not be another option at the time such as with a relationship or employment. But when we are in ‘survival mode’ we begin to have to look at the situation different.
    A great deal of the day, my career requires successfully handling customer complaints. I have learned that if I choose to look at my situation from another perspective, I am able to assist them and not get bogged down with hurtful remarks toward me. I am definitely still a work in progress.
    Your article “love anyway” gave me further explanation as to why I need to continue to love others and give of myself especially when it hurts. Thanks so much, Susan.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      The sacrifice of love . . . always a gift with freely given.

      Be blessed, dear one. Truly, you are a lover of others, allowing the abundance of God’s love to flow through you to those He puts in your path.

      Be blessed.

  • Flo Ainu'u says:

    I had a staff, young lady, yell at me and basically called me incompetent. I yelled back, stormed to the supervisor’s office to vent my complaint. The supervisor sided with my staff and I felt so foolish. The staff and supervisor are young enough to be my daughters. This happened over a year again and soon after the incident I retired but kept going over my mind’s video of the incident and how I was treated. I know I am to love anyway but it took some time for me to get where I am today. Your message and the replies are very encouraging and confirming of how Jesus responded on the cross; an example for me to follow. Iron sharpens iron. Thank you Susan for the work you do that is such a blessing to me and many others.

    • Susan,
      You are amazing you touch exactly the things that bother us a lot.
      Beginning of this month someone hurt me so much. Although not sure who exactly but I was called by the manager and told me she has been told. First I was shocked because it was all lies because people do not want to see anyone happy. Second I was like why should people do that? Is it like they want to paint me bad so that they look good in the manager’s eyes.
      But now your message has helped me a lot. “Love anyway” This is what I have already done am loving everyone as usual because I do not know who exactly did what ?
      My heart is at peace. I want to live at peace with everyone.
      Thank you

      • Susan Gregory says:

        God is watching over you. And when we stick with His ways, we will always be blessed!

        Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  • Ru says:

    Wow LOVE ANYWAY! All i can say is right message of encouragement at the right time. Praise God for His Love!
    Thank you Susan stay Blessed!!!
    Ru

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Praise our Father for His perfect timing!

      Be blessed, Ru.

    • Victoria khanyile says:

      Oh ! Susan, you surely know how to get me on my knees with streams of Tears. My friend whom I trusted and adored so much,suggested that the I move from my branch to where she was. like a fool I went, I couldn’t believe what I saw, she ill treated people and people were so scared of her.

      She then turned against me, made my life real hell,I was still a trainee manager,I would ask God where are you? Yes, God I needed a job not hell. Finally, I resigned, without a job, to date I have not spoken to her, jst pray that, may God have mercy on her.

      • Susan Gregory says:

        I had a similar experience. I had to get away from the abuse. Then some time to breathe, heal, and forgive. Now I can truly say that I love anyway and we have resumed our friendship. It was a huge struggle. I am so thankful that God will see us through these situations as we turn to Him.

  • janet says:

    thank you Susan for this wonderful message. just what i need to her today, i just finished talking to one of my nieces and felt very disappointed with her and actually give up on her. but this message made me think twice and made me realize to love her anyway and not give up on her but continue to support her on her endeavor. I realize i have to put to death this flesh of mine daily so Christ can live in me and be glorified forevermore. thank you Susan and God bless you always.

  • Laverne says:

    You know Susan, I just experienced this very thing this morning. People don’t realize just because you’re saved does not mean you’re exempt! My flesh wanted to call the person and curse them out but the real me (the spirit) would not allow me to. I am a child of God and if they offended me they offended God. I am so grateful to know Christ. The letting go in my flesh is the tougher part because my body, my heart, is quivering in hurt, disappointment, and anger but I know God is able! I choose to love anyway. God bless!

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Thank your for sharing your thoughts, Laverne. Yes, the flesh wants to act out! Praise God we can renew our minds with the truth of God. walk in obedience and truth, and make choices that align with Him and His ways.

      Be blessed, dear one.

  • Gregory says:

    Susan, thank you for sharing your experience and the word God with me and others. I have been there as well and probably will go there again but the today with love always I know how to deal with situations that come up like that. Keep being a vessel for God.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Thanks for your encouraging words, Gregory.

      As we learn and take the seeds of truth into our hearts, we are being equipped for “the next time.” Praise God that He is so generous with us! His love, care, and wisdom is never ending.

  • Maureen Chirawu says:

    I was hurt and angered by the treatment I received from a person I thought was a good friend of many years. I went through the cycle of anger, and plots of how I would get her back. My friend had disrespected me in front of my two daughters and they were cheering me on in my plot to annihilate this woman. But I know that the Holy Spirit spoke to me and I just decided I am going to do nothing about this situation and I would let time heal the wounds. It took two years of cooled communication with this friend but at the beginning of this year I invited her to breakfast. We chatted and more or less made up. I told her about exercising and keeping fit and she was grateful and asked if I could get some exercises recorded for her. I gladly did it. I made up my mind to forgive her and bless her and let the Lord take care of what I needed. Susan, thank you for giving a name to what I have learned to Love Anyway. My children think I am weak but I try to teach them that it is better to allow God to give beauty for my ashes. Thank you Susan

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Thank you for sharing your story with us, Maureen. Your children are blessed to have you show them that we are in strength when we love anyway. We stand in a position of power. Not power over the other person. But instead in the power of the Lord’s love and His truth. We are being Christ. And that’s always a good way to “be.”

    • charlene says:

      thats is such an awesome way to put it. thankyou. god gives beauty for my ashes. awesome. wow/////

  • Ann M Wyllie says:

    Susan, I think one of the hardest things to do as Christians is to LOVE ANYWAY. However, it is our greatest commandment: Love God and love one another. It is hard to do that in the midst of heartache, disappointment, betrayal, pain and discouragement. But, as God promised, when we forgive others (and ourselves), it brings the greatest peace. It’s like the joy and peace we experience when we see a rainbow. To trust in God’s Word and in His promises enough to LOVE ANYWAY–to love even though it is truly difficult–is to truly experience God’s love for us

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Your message is lovely, Ann. Yes, it is hard to love anyway. Then I think of Jesus on the cross. He looked down at the soldiers who put Him there. He saw the people cheering. And He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He clearly loved anyway and I am forever grateful that He continues to give us that same rich and abiding love.

  • Nyameka says:

    Susan ,glory to God ,when the Apostle Paul writes to Romans 8;31′” what can we do to these things” ?.you give us the resolution that love anyway. Thank you very much because I am that Woman who is disrespected by her own child ,where sometimes I cannot communicate with my own creator because I am hurt and angry but now you say LOVE ANYWAY. Thank you for this forum .Glory to God by sending such a healer to our broken hearts

  • Wendy says:

    Thank u Susan. Your message came just in time. Am experiencing communication problems and a few days i was in tears telling myself i dont deserve this. My love now is fading bit by bit. But with your message seems thats exactly what i really wanted to hear. Love anyway. For sure God has his way of responding to our prayers and cries. God is so timely. God is never late, always in time.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Praise God for the seeds of truth in “love anyway” that are not planted in your heart. God is love. You can stand in that love. You can depend on it. And you can draw comfort and strength from it. His love for you is why He wipes away your tears. Comforts you in His loving arms. And holds your hand as you move forward.

      Be blessed, dear one.

  • Avril says:

    I am blessed. Thank you so much for this.

  • Cora Langson says:

    Thank you Susan! I so much needed this, it stopped me in my tracks. Thank you heavenly Father for using Susan to speak this truth to my bleeding heart.

    • Ross says:

      Susan thank you so much i went through this yesterday and what went through my mind was God’s love is so big I had peace and told myself I know who I’m in Christ I know my identity its to love and to give it to The Lord and not to waiste my time and energy and to stay focused on my purpose on earth Love

  • Thandi Danke says:

    Thank you Susan for the timely message. It just came at the right season in my life. I praise God.

  • Janet summers says:

    Susan, it’s amazing to me how many messages you send that are so rich and timely! I too had a restless night around a serious offense. Honestly, I was unable to reconnect with this person because of fear. Fear I would get hurt again. But the Lord let me know at 2:00 am one morning that I needed to not only forgive this person, but reach out to them. I did, it was a first step among many, I hope.

    Bless you and thank you for such ‘deep’ and heartfelt revelations!!

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Thank you, Janet. Our God is so good and we can receive from Him as we keep our hearts open to His voice.

      I am blessed this morning by your encouraging words. Thank you and be blessed as you continue to love anyway.

  • Yekeia Askins-Trent says:

    Hello Susan, this article was definitely food for my soul! God is truly teaching me how to “Love Anyway” while on this spiritual journey. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Maria says:

    This stopped me right in my tracks! A hard pill to swallow but oh so necessary in order to live out the will of God in our lives, I thank you for your truth and transparency!

  • Umashankari Das says:

    Yes Susan this is a good time to read this! I really needed this….as I am required to love a person who has caused much pain and I have lost trust in this relationship….but going from the safe is a very strong point!

  • Lisa says:

    Susan, I almost missed this blessing. But, God is so timely, when something is for you to hear, see, He makes it possible.
    I am experiencing a situation with a long time friend. She may not be totally aware of the details that is causing me to be annoyed, and I can not fully admit that what she is doing is wrong.
    But, my initial reaction was anger and frustration, ” how dare she do this to me”
    I was sleepless for many nights. I wanted to tell my daughter what I thought and how hurt I was. I wanted to tell another daughter what I thought was going on.
    Each time the Holy Spirit calmed my spirit long enough to for me to realize I must leave it in God’s hand.
    Now I know what the Holy Spirit was teaching me and telling me, “love anyway”
    I wanted to run the mental video in my head all day long, just feeding the “demon”.
    God said, give it to me and love anyway. I still have not spoken to my friend about my frustration, I have left it in God’s hand and being obedient by being still.
    Thank you,

    • Susan Gregory says:

      God is so good and faithful. Just like when I was awakened with the message to “love anyway.” His way and He’s coaching us to follow in it.

    • LaDonna says:

      Thank you Lisa for your testimony it’s amazing to know that someone has the exact same testimony this friend hurt me badly and I play the tape in my head over and over and it has consumed me it has taken root in my spirit day in and day out the tape that played in my head Revenge plays in my head hurt comes up over and over and over again and I pray to God every single day and night asking him Lord please heal me from this great betrayal I know that I am a God-fearing person but this has not went away so I am being still and I’m waiting on God I’ve put it in his hands but it does not the negative thoughts that goes through my mind and the pain that I feel in my heart this betrayal was so great she was my friend we walk together as friends we talk together as friends we spend days and nights on the phone and conversation it was something that came between us a man this woman learned of me learned everything about me she watched me she mimic me and all the time I didn’t know how she really felt about me but when this man showed up and I would like the real her stood up and she turned me into a villain with our friends, and they all turned against me and went to her side I’ve never felt so betrayed in my life I pray everyday that God show me how to forgive her but it has not happened yet I put it in God’s hands and I’m just waiting to be healed by the way she married the man, and I’m full of hurt and frustration but in all of this I Look to God asking for help with this situation if you’re reading this. Please pray for me

  • Carolyn E. Ambrose says:

    Love anyway is the best policy in this life we live on earth
    For we must be able to follow the greatest Commandment of all to LOVE our neighbors.
    Yes the worst abuse is verbal abuse that always hurts the the other person. But we have to remember That our God is a forgiving God.
    We need to use him as an example to be able to forgive the one that Hurt us and move Forward .Let go and Let God handle all issues.

  • Atheline says:

    Thank you Susan. This message is just what i needed to cope with what is happening in my life right now. Your message has given me a new perspective and a way to deal with this situation.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yes, this really is a shift in our thinking, right? And when we follow His ways it’s always right for us and everyone in our lives.

  • Glory Brown says:

    I needed to hear that because right at this moment I need to hear to love and not revenge

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yes, I know what it’s like to ride that roller coaster! You can get off, just like I had to, and walk in the spirit and love anyway.

      Be blessed, dear one.

  • Yvette says:

    Thank you Susan. This message was right on time. Yesterday I had to Love Anyway. God spoke to me in reminding me that if I am to be an example of who he is in me I have to Love Anyway in spite of my feelings. I must say I’m so happy that God is head of my life.

  • Flo says:

    What a message…. tonight I am going to sleep knowing that I can love with God’s Love. Thank you.

  • Angelica Lopez says:

    Thank you Susan for this. I definitely needed to read this after an incident with my soon to be ex husband. He has another woman and it is so so hard to “love anyway” when so much damage has been caused. It is so hard to not allow our emotions to get a hold of us. But the great thing about God is that the second we call on him the Holy Spirit is there to intervene and calm the raging sea in us. Glory to God for the tremendous love he has for us.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Sometimes it’s harder to love anyway. Especially with former spouses, who are supposed to stand by us forever and ever!

      Thank God for His goodness, love, care, and truth. And when we love anyway, we can remain strong and confident as we live in Christ and in His love.

      • Cynthia Lucas-Lovelace says:

        My husband is a narcissist, the Lord said to stop praying for this marriageseeing that he has rejected him. Until the Lord makes away for me to leave, i have peace. We’re in our 60’s and he doesnt even want to be in the bed with. We’ve been married and gets every morning and leave before 6am. He comes back but sits in his rocking with his laptop all day. He never wants to be in bed with me, i asked him why, he said he didnt like looking at me, and if i did like it, leave. He said we got married too fast, he doesnt lovee. I said oh, i guess thats reason enough, so i treat him like a brother in the Lord, i don’t expect, any love or affection after that. So until I leave i just treat him like a brother.

        • Susan Gregory says:

          I am so sorry there is so much strife in your home. Remember, to love anyway is about you and your heart and character. Be sure to do some things to bring joy into your life. Feed your soul with life-giving experiences so you can stay strong. Fall into the arm of God. He will hold you.

    • Danielle says:

      Amen

  • Garvin Grant says:

    Thank you Susan a very good reminder to always Love anyway…

  • Hannah says:

    Thank you for your message. It is a truth that quite frankly needs to be at the forefront of our minds and hearts continually. Our feelings can be hurt at any turn, and we can feel offense rise up, a negative stirring in our hearts. Often times the offender may not even know that they’ve hurt you feelings, or offended you. Personally, it is at that time I choose to forgive the offender, and see them as God sees them, as His child. As you’ve said, Love Anyway.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yes, seeing others as God sees them is loving anyway. God is so good and when we walk in His ways, we can be sure and confident and strong.

      Be blessed

  • Renee Jarvis says:

    Thank you so much, Susan for today’s devotional. I too am experiencing this exact same thing. And I have just recently took it upon myself to see things from the other person’s perspective. I can now better see what she has been going through. My prayer is that God continue to be the guide in both our relationships. Also, that my friend and I allow Him to use the Holy Spirit to mend both our hearts so that we may resume our warm and loving friendship.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      A good word, Renee! Submitting to God and His ways is always the best. Then He can work in us and through us and mend the brokenness in our hearts.

  • Tracy Bates says:

    Thank you this message pinged into my inbix just as I was praying into a situation where I had been hurt by harsh and unkind words from the very person who should love me the most ..I realise it is not him but the enemy who comes like a thief in the night to hurt, destroy and steal your joy .so i will meet it with love and reject the hurt it has no authority and no place in my heart…thankyiou and praise God for this perfectly tined message.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Dearest Tracy! God is so loving you and knows you will yield to Him. Then He can replace strife with peace!

      He that is in you is greater than he who is in the world!

  • Marla says:

    This is a really good and much needed article. I apply “Love Anyway” daily with my bi-polar son. It can be VERY challenging but love can cover a multitude of wrongs. Of course it’s not always “easy”, I get angry, flustered and hurt almost everyday but I try my best to not let him see it or let it affect how I communicate with him; there are times In Love that I tell him how his behavior has hurt me but I do it In Love. Every day, minute, second I choose to LOVE; it’s the only way I survive 🙂

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yes, situations like yours can be tough. I do encourage you to find ways that can nurture your mother’s heart. Be good to yourself. Nourish that love with goodness and joyful experiences. They don’t have to be big deals. Even little things like a cup of tea with a joyful mindset can bring food to your soul.

      Love to you, dear one.

  • Pearl says:

    Thank you Susan. That is the key to our relationship with God. God is Love. Today I had to Love anyway and I thank God even though I could feel my flesh rising up.

  • Angelique Robinson says:

    Your words resonated with me. I lost a friendship of 20 years due to some hurtful words. I felt “right” in discontinuing the relationship when after I very sincerely stated why I was hurt and the person did nothing to honor my feelings. I just “tallied up” all the other times this same thing had occurred previously which I had “let slide”, and decided this person did not have my best interest. That was two years ago and I still think about it. Although in this moment I don’t think the relationship will be rekindled, I do have it in my heart to “love anyway”. To allow other’s the same grace I hope for.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Relationship can be tough! And sometimes loving from a distance is okay. Also, submitting the whole situation to God and allowing Him to work can bring unexpected outcomes. It may take some time . . . but He is the lover of our souls and the Healer of the brokenhearted.

  • Franklin says:

    This really helped me in a situation I was recently faced with. I don’t believe in aborting relationships so that wasn’t an option, but I needed some resolve. I decided to love anyway, even as God has done with me for so long a time.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      God is always our best model! Plus, He made us in His image! I love your story of how you chose to love anyway.

  • Cindi says:

    I needed this today. Thank you for being the servant that you are.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Praise God for His perfect timing! He is so good!

      • nester says:

        Thanks Susan for sharing such an uplifring story. Am in such a situatiom and was going to seek revenge. The bible says always do good to your enemies but at times i ask myself why. But I have leant the good way to meant a broken heart. I will learn to Love Anyway. In Jesus Mighty name. Amen

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