When It’s Hard to Take the Bad with the Good

Sharon Jaynes A Sudden Glory, Expectant Living, Forgiveness, God's love, Listening to God, Living Fully, Relationships 72 Comments

I sat on my screened-in porch, taken aback with the beauty of the morning surrounding me.

A layer of mist rose from the serene waters of the lake and hovered just above the surface. Rays of light slanting in from the east elongated shadows that all too soon would stand at attention in the noonday sun.

Pampas grass plumes praised their Creator with a gentle sway.

I held a steamy cup of coffee in my hand and placed my Bible on my lap. As if on cue, as had been our routine for the past several weeks, a visitor hopped from the shrubbery and onto the night-cooled patio. “Good morning, Peter,” I cooed to the little brown bunny I’d watched grow since early spring. “And how are you today?” I just love bunnies, I mused.

Peter skipped and jumped from bush to bush, and kicked up his heels like an Irishman ready to meet the day. As usual, he stopped right in front of the porch and blinked his big brown eyes as if to say hello. Just as I was enjoying watching my furry friend, he hopped over to a flower pot, stood up on his hind legs, and yanked a rather large stem of petunia from the plant.

“Good grief,” I moaned. “Stop that!” Bounding down the steps, I came face-to-face with the wrascally wrabbit. “Stop eating my flowers,” I warned. “Get out of here. Shoo.”

Apparently, the bunny didn’t see me as much of a threat. He didn’t budge, but continued munching away with a petunia hanging out of his mouth. I could have touched him if I’d wanted.

“I mean it,” I continued. “Shoo.” It wasn’t until I clapped my hands several times that Peter scampered behind the bush to finish up his breakfast.

Back on the porch, I grabbed my lukewarm coffee and placed my Bible back on my lap. It wasn’t long before a dainty hummingbird buzzed up to the hummingbird feeder just outside the screen. I watched in amazement as its wings fluttered and it hovered in midair. Iridescent colors of green and blue glistened in the sun. “I just love hummingbirds,” I whispered.

No sooner had the thought entered my head than a second hummingbird dive-bombed the first. A fight quickly ensued. Beak to beak, they battled for their terrain. Right jab. Left stab.

“Guys, stop it,” I pled as if they cared. “There are six perches and enough nectar for the entire country. Good grief!” And as quickly as they had appeared, they were gone.

Taking a sip from my now cold coffee, I tried once again to concentrate on my open Bible. But then I saw our heron approaching. A beautiful heron lives on our lake and occasionally he passes our way. I marveled at his long legs pointing behind him and his slender beak leading the way. With exaggerated movements, he slowly flapped his magnificent blue-gray wings and glided before me. But then, like a Boeing 747 with a leak in the fuselage, a stream of poo fell from the bird and made a trail in the yard.

“Good grief,” I moaned for the third time in one day.

Back to the Bible. As I tried to concentrate, God began speaking to my heart about what I had seen. Are you willing to take the bad with the good? He seemed to say.

“What do You mean, Lord?” I questioned.

You love bunnies, but they eat your plants. You love hummingbirds, but they constantly fight. You love the heron, but he makes a mess in your yard. Are you willing to take the bad with the good?  

“Well, yes. I am willing to take the good with the bad. I love Your creatures!”

What about people? He seemed to continue. If you are willing to take the bad with the good with mere animals, are you willing to take the bad with the good in people created in My image?

“That’s not funny, God,” I argued.

It’s not meant to be.

And then, as God so often does in my life, His silence left me to think about it.

I began to think about people in my life I have rejected or relationships I have walked away from because of annoying behavior or emotional messiness.

It seems I was willing to take the bad with the good with God’s furry feathery creatures, but when it came to people created in God’s image…not so much.

God is a Master at taking the bad with the good, whether dealing with David the adulterer, Jacob the liar, Peter the doubter, or the woman I look at in the mirror every day. God sees the best and the worst in us and loves us just the same.

So here’s the question for you today. Are you willing to take the bad with the good? Are you willing to overlook the annoying behavior of others and embrace their positive qualities instead? I’m going to leave you to think about it the way God’s silence left me to think about it…but first, leave a comment and say, “I’m willing,”  if you’re ready to take the bad with the good.

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Comments 72

  1. Thanks for the wonderful insight ! I too realize that according to God’s plan for our lives, we need to take in the bad along with the good in our relationships. I intend to try to do exactly that from today with God’s help.

  2. I’m willing?Have been thinking about it in the small way before, concerning the mess my animals make (cats and dogs) and also when it comes to my kids and kids I know. But somehow suddenly your words gave me a new persective to use it in my interacting in general!
    Wish you a blessed day!

  3. This just appeared in my mail just as I was seeking God for insight. I have given up hope on an argument w/my daughter for her healthcare as she has just banished me from her life as she lay in the hospital misunderstanding the doc’s orders and my help for her. After years of trying to help her out of so many issues I have just called it final quits and was relieved to be w/o all her drama finally. Others have been w/me on this in last few minutes as I gathered my things to leave hospital for home. But I felt unrest and was getting ready to Google some sermons from one of my pastors for immediate solace when your article appeared right here in the waiting room! Thank you!

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  4. That was an excellent illustration by the way . Your examples were profound. Isn’t that what we do though mess up something beautiful? We do this by stealing, fighting, or destroying. When you really think about it we all need GRACE extended to us to accept the bad in others as they in turn accept the bad in us- at least until we no longer have a sin-nature!

  5. I am so glad you said this!! I have heard this message from God for quite some time and everyone seems to be giving the message to walk away from relationships that drain you or are hard to deal with or just people who are hard to love and God has told me that He loves me in spite of me and I am to love others with that same love.. to work through things.. not necessarily to put up with everything someone says or does, but to not walk away just because things aren’t easy.. I am with you!! I am willing!!

  6. The lord is so merciful and forgiving to us we Must in turn do the same for others. The good coupled with the bad is what makes us who we are.

  7. I am willing! This has been a lesson God has been teaching me since July – and your message was a confirmation to me to continue 🙂 thank you for being the Lord’s servant.

  8. I will take the bad with the good. Thank you for the reminder of what God’s will and way is, and I want to be in His will

  9. You have NO idea how badly I needed to hear this this morning!!!! You have NO idea how God has used it to heal a wound this morning!!!! Thank.you so much!!!!!
    I’m willing!

  10. I am willing!
    Praying for a chance to do this today. Please pray with me for reconciliation on both parts where people didn’t remember this. I am most willing God.

    Thank you for this message. Needed. to see this today

  11. I AM WILLING! God’s plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day. God’s plans for each of us far exceed the circumstances of our days. 🙂

  12. Taking the bad with the good is life itself have found if we don’t bitterness seeps into my heart and festers and God certainly doesn’t want that to happen .RECENTLY HAD A AGRUEMENT WITH A NEIGHBOUR SHE WAS RIGHT I WAS RIGHT we both wouldn’t back down I went away for a few days came back to same thing so in prayer asked God to help me and He said TO MY HEART FORGIVE HAVE DONE MOVED ON

  13. I am willing … how funny that I am reading this today. .. im actually in a very bad place with my husband and our marriage right now… we have both been out of work for over 4 months.. and both come from previous failed marriages due to “not getting along” and we married less than a year ago… the reasons of our arguments are usually of things we do not like the other doing or not doing… but we love each other and share 3 children .. a blended family… i hope reading this and bringing our problems to God we will find the love and grace to get us through. …

  14. Omg!! Yes i am willing…this was totally meant for me.i was having issues with my coworker and all the things she’s not doing that she should be doing.i was contemplating whether to speak up and informed my supervisor.I ‘ ve been waiting on god.and here it is.conformation…take the good with the bad.thank you sharon…for this..i was laughing to myself how true this is..thank you for the reminder.
    C

  15. I am willing!! I can so relate to this story. We planted four new bushes not too long. The next morning, the rabbits had already eaten every leaf or flower they could reach. I was like, “What are we going to do in the Spring?” “We’ll sit here & watch the rabbits like we always have,” is what my husband said. We also have Quail & when the babies are ready to fly, they walk in their straight line to our brick wall, get them all on top & one by one they push them off the wall. They go through this several times until they all are flapping their wings. Then, in their straight line they march back to their nest/hiding place under a huge Rosemary bush. God, too, sometimes has to push us off the wall to get our wings to fly, so we can follow only Him!!

    Some days I think He wants us to read nature, when it will teach us what He wants us to learn & become more like Him. God Bless you & thank you!!

    Love,
    Deb

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  16. This brought to mind my personal struggle to reject BEHAVIORS in my children that I disagree with or are contrary to scripture and still accept and love the child. I know there’s a difference, yet I’m not sure what the looks like in real life.

    I am so sorry for my shortcomings and I am willing to GROW into exactly what our Father needs me to be.

  17. Just yesterday, I was once again wrestling with the question of whether I would allow a certain family member back in my life. Her “emotional messiness and annoying behaviour” has got in the way so many times. Reading this blog, I recognise the need for humility and agape love. I too have been rejected by my husband because my behaviour and emotions didn’t measure up. It doesn’t feel right to know that I am, in turn, rejecting someone, offering conditional love. Thank you Heavenly Father for using Sharon Jaynes as an instrument to speak to me.

  18. I’ve just come across the GIG’S a little more than a month ago. The Lord is doing something important in my life, although I don’t know what it is; I am so very willing to accept the good with bad.
    Thank you so much for being there to minister to so many, God bless you,
    Sharon

  19. I am struggling with this very thing this morning, and I believe God used this as a message to change my heart today. Oh He’s good… thank you Sharon.

    I am willing!!

  20. I am willing! I am willing! I am willing! Learning to forgive others can sometimes be difficult. Pride gets in the way for me. But then God quickly reminds me that He first forgave me. We are all made in the image of God and if I love Him I can’t help but love others. 🙂

  21. I am willing! I have to allow God to enable me to love a young woman that my 18 year old son has decided to marry. We see so many things wrong in the relationship and we have been hurt by her behaviour many times. Thank you for your words and prayers:)

  22. Yes! I am willing. Funny how I repeated your message in my mind and turned it around to: “I am willing to take the GOOD with the bad.” The good has to come first? No, not always does the good in people show up first…. Often it is the bad, with good to follow. I must remember that another person doesn’t have to pass the “good-test” before I let them into my life, to then accept their “bad.” God accepted my “bad” FIRST, before He saw, and taught me about being “good!” Great lesson: accept ANY ORDER that God puts people, places & things into my life….He. Is the great “Arranger” of what comes first, the bad & the good! Thank you!

  23. I’ve tried to accept the good with the bad…but certain people bring out the bad quite often, showing a lack of respect for those around them. I’m a believer of giving people many chances but am at the end of my resolve with certain people in my life. Usually at this point I avoid them all together unless it’s a family function and even then, steer clear of them. I prize peace and sanity and don’t tolerate people that have no regard for either. I’m a soft soul but can appear very strong and proud when put in a situation where my own worth is questioned by another. Still waiting to see what God has planned here in my life.

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