You will never look into the eyes of someone who God doesn’t love.

Absolutely never.

Regardless of who you vote for, what faith you hold dear, or how you choose to raise your kids, people are people are people.

In this mess of a year we find ourselves in, it seems that basic kindergarten skill is something we’ve forgotten.

As I scroll my phone, watching people throw crap at each other on the daily regarding where they stand on masks, the election, and how they’re choosing to school their kids makes me sad for humanity.

That our two presidential candidates needed a mute button to even hear the other person out just puts magnifies the point. 

The late Mother Teresa embodied loving the unlovable and listening to the forgotten in such a beautifully inspiring way vis-a-vis what we’re currently seeing bombard our news feeds. 

She truly saw good in each and every person she encountered. Each and every one. Regardless of what illness they had, how poor they were, or what higher power they believed in, she served. She prayed. She loved with everything she had.

Rather than backing away from differences, she found them.

Rather than walking away from pain, she asked, “How can I help?”

What kind of difference would living like that make?

Admittedly I’m a work-in-progress here (aren’t we all?), but she laid down some beautiful truth that struck me as a prayer for this increasingly divided time we find ourselves in:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

When social media rages about how to parent/travel/literally do anything, Father remind me so many people are just trying to stay above water right now.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

When I feel my hosting skills feel struggling (frozen pizza for all!), remind me offering an invitation for fellowship always trumps a messy house and subpar meal.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

When I see a new mom in the trenches, remind me how hard that stage was and support her in any way I can.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

When I share what’s on my heart, help me not armor up if (and when) people back away.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If time changes my strongest relationships, help me continue to reach out and check-in.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

When I’m walking through a blessed season, help me lay down striving for the next one and be present to and thankful for where I’m at.

The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

When I long for feedback as a stay-at-home parent, help me continue to love my kids in little, unseen ways with joy.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

When I don’t feel skinny, pretty, talented, or successful enough, remind me my worth only comes from being yours.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” 

Thanks be to God.

What if we stopped letting other people’s opinions or differences make us feel we have to get the last word in; make us question our worth? 

What if instead of drawing lines in the sand we showered mercy and kindness, sincerity and grit, goodness and joy to each and every person we encountered?

When we feel misunderstood or judged, lonely or betrayed, taken advantage of or unseen, failing or unsuccessful, Father remind us we were not made for this world but were made for you.

Ashley Stevens

Ashley Stevens is a speaker, writer, wife, and mother of three. While serving as a campus missionary shortly after getting engaged, she was T-boned by a Mack truck and nearly lost her life. They got married on the one-year anniversary of the accident to redeem the day and she writes to encourage those whose life isn't going according to plan at