I am not always the easiest person to be around. If you ask my wife, she will, without equivocation, affirm that statement. I can be hard to love. I can be impatient, stubborn, and prideful at times, refusing to admit when I’ve screwed up even though I know I’ve screwed up.

In fact, she looked at me during one of these seasons and said divorce isn’t an option. But death…well, death is still on the table!

Do you remember the Rancor in Return of the Jedi? That monster reminds me of what I could be like. And my wife, well, she was Luke Skywalker about ready to be eaten by this monster. And if you haven’t watched Return of the Jedi, stop reading right now, rent it on Redbox, and watch it. Then come back and finish!

Anyway…The moral of THAT sidebar is this – I wasn’t always lovable. And Nicky was the Jedi Master!

And I think she was kidding…about the death option, that is! Fortunately, I’ve not had to find out! I’ve gotten better. Sort of…Wait, let me restate that. I’ve gotten better because God (and Nicky) has pushed me to be better. Which brings us to the point of this post.

Have you ever thought of making it easier for people to love you? Perhaps even making it a delight for them? Let’s think about that word for just a moment. Delight. It means to give pleasure, to give satisfaction, to celebrate. In some ways, delight is something that is cherished because it’s wonderful.

Paul talks about this in chapter twelve of his letter to the church in Rome.

Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:10

Read that again, then answer this question. How can you make it easier for people to love you? How can you be a delight?

It starts with a right heart. Note I didn’t say perfect. Just a right heart. One that is clear and open to God so you can hear from God and respond to God so you can be God’s grace to someone else. If there’s something that doesn’t belong, get rid of it. If forgiveness needs to happen on your part or you need to seek forgiveness, do it. Both of these are a detriment to making yourself a delight to love.

Then, start doing the simple things. Consider the other person. Remember, they are probably going through something. If you’re breathing, you’re going through something, will go through something, or have been through something. That’s life. It’s why we need Jesus and grace.

Making it easier for people to love you means not being passive-aggressive. It means putting away pride. It means admitting when you’re wrong and not trying to hide or blame. It means giving more instead of looking to receive more.

If all this sounds impossible to you right now, maybe you need a new heart. God promises to help. In his words to the prophet Ezekiel, He says…

And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh Ezekiel 11:19

God is talking to the Israelites, promising to restore them to both the land and right relationship with God. This promise is to give them one heart that is undivided. A divided heart will always be in conflict. But an undivided heart that submits and surrenders to God’s ways and not our own way is one that God transforms into the kind of heart that can do those things above…and a whole lot more! It’s a radical sort of transplant!

Kinda like a Jedi Master! Only way cooler and, well, real! And without the Lightsaber. Your Lightsaber would be God’s Word – the Bible!

But we have to do our part. And trust God to do His!

What about loving genuinely and being devoted to that level of love? Well, you can’t do that by yourself. That’s a Holy Spirit working in you kind of thing because that kind of love allows for weaknesses and flaws. It makes space for grace (giving a gift that’s undeserved). That kind of love affirms, encourages, commits to loyalty, and communicates and deals with problems without taking sides. It sees the problem as the problem and not the person as the problem. That kind of bond is not quickly broken.

All that makes you a human someone else can find easy to love and delight to give love to. You become a delight for someone else. And what does that do? What does it accomplish?

Maybe…Perhaps if you and I do that – be a delight for others, we’ll find that we can delight in loving others. No matter what. In short, we’ll be empowered to love others as God intended.

I can’t change people. You can’t change people. The only thing you and I can change is ourselves. We can control ourselves with the Holy Spirit’s leading. We can change with the Holy Spirit’s counseling. And when we do, for the better, we find ourselves filled with the wherewithal to love genuinely and delight in honoring others. All because we’ve done our part to make ourselves the kind of people who are easy to love and delight in.

In short, we become salt and light, as Jesus mentions in Matthew 5.

So, the bottom line? Go! Be salt! Be light! Be a delight!

Because…you are loved! God delights to love you!