HERE’S HOW TO LOVE SOMEONE YOU DON’T LIKE (OR WHO DOESN’T LIKE YOU)…

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We all have them in our lives…people that we just don’t like, or who don’t like us.

They’re in our families…on our jobs…in our churches…we see them on television…sometimes we’re even married to them.

We may or may not know them, and they may or may not know us.

It could be that you used to be very close, but something happened.

You changed.

They changed.

Life happened and you reacted to it differently.

It could be that you have opposing views on a cause that is near and dear to your heart.

Sometimes you don’t even know why. It could be something very subtle.

Have you ever found yourself saying this?

“I don’t know why, but I just don’t like ___________.”

Or,

There’s something about ____________ that I just don’t like.

We may not like the way they look…the way they behave…the way they treat others…they may have even mistreated us or someone we love.

Stop right now and take a moment to think about the people who you don’t like. 

Be careful, because… DON’T LIKE can lead to HATE.

Or, sometimes, DON’T LIKE is actually HATE in denial.

We all know that God commands that we love everyone, just as He loves everyone. In fact, He goes so far as to tell us to love our neighbor as ourselves…and defines a neighbor in the Parable of the Good Samaritan…

Luke 10:25-37 (NKJV)

 25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” 27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’[h] and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”[i28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “AND WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?” 30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him,and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed,[j] he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “GO AND DO LIKEWISE.”

Jesus chose this example because, as most of you know, the Jews and Samaritans DID NOT like each other. Some say that they hated one another, and through that context He gives us His expectation for us.

God already knew when He commanded that we love one another that we would…

Have opposing views…

Hurt one another…

Betray one another…

Abuse one another…

Sometimes be innocent victims…

But, still He said love EVERYONE!

How do we do that?

Here are a few suggestions to help you love someone you don’t like…


REMEMBER THEY’RE GOD’S CHILD TOO

We were all created in the image of Almighty God. Jesus died for all of our sins, in fact the bible says…

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[a] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Notice what King David said after he had Uriah killed so that he could have his wife…

Psalm 51:4 (NKJV)

Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—That You may be found just when You speak,[a]
And blameless when You judge.

When someone hurts you…they are transgressing God’s commandment to love everyone, so they are hurting God 1st.

Always remember that GOD DOESN’T LOVE YOUR ENEMY ANY LESS THAN HE LOVES YOU! Just because we don’t like someone, doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love them.

Even though they won’t, He wants everyone to accept Him and be saved. As they brutally crucified Jesus, He lovingly said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)


DO SOMETHING KIND FOR THEM

One of the most powerful things you can do for someone who you don’t like, or for someone who doesn’t like you is to make a conscious effort to be KIND to them.

Kindness is a Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23). Being KIND and NICE are two different things… Click here to find out more about Kind vs Nice)

You can be NICE to someone who you hate. You can be NICE to someone while positioning yourself to stab them in the back.

Being kind to someone is LOVE IN ACTION. It’s doing what’s best for them in spite of how you feel about them, or how they feel about you. It’s doing what’s best for them even if it’s unpleasant or uncomfortable for you are them.

Just as in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, being kind to someone you don’t like forces you into showing them love. It plants a seed of God’s love into them and anyone else who may witness the kindness.

Kindness is exercising your love muscle. It allows you the opportunity to not only see them as God sees them, but to act towards them as God does towards us when we hurt Him.


 YOU CAN LOVE THE PERSON AND HATE THE BEHAVIOR

Do you think that God loves all of our behavior? Of course not. He hates sin…and we all sin.

God hates sin, but loves the sinner…and that’s what He expects us to do. When we accept Jesus and repent of our sins, He…

Propitiates our sins…covers or atones for them. (1 John 2:2)

And,

Justifies us…or counts us as being righteous. (Romans 5:1)

And, even those who have not accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior are recipients of His mercy He loves enough to withhold His wrath even though He doesn’t LIKE their behavior. (Luke 6:36)

God expects us to look past the sin and love the person that He made in His image. Is it easy? No! But, that’s where Philippians 4:13 is most powerful…

Philippians 4:13(NKJV)

13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.

 Just as God does, we can learn to love the person and hate the behavior.

We can love them, and dislike how the are.


FIND SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE IN COMMON WITH THEM

Another way that you can find it within yourself to love someone who you don’t like is to find something that you have in common with them.

The key to conflict resolution is finding common ground. We all have and will sin. We all have to die one day. We all want to be happy. We all want to be valued.

Look at what the apostle Paul did to reach others for Christ…

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (NKJV)

19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law,[a] that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God,[b] but under law toward Christ[c]), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as[d] weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.

We all have more in common than we may think. Sometimes when we don’t like someone, we don’t want to see what we have in common with them.

Finding something in common with them is a way to see yourself in them…hence, “Love your neighbor as yourself”.


 REMEMBER THAT SOMETIMES, YOU’RE THE PERSON SOMEONE DOESN’T LIKE

When we’re honest with ourselves…sometimes we are that person that someone doesn’t like. Not only that, sometimes we have given them a GOOD reason to ‘not like us’.


Lastly, remember this…When we judge that someone deserves to ‘not be liked’, we are placing that same judgment on ourselves…

Matthew 7:1-2 (NKJV)

Do Not Judge

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

Notice that I didn’t try to convince you to like anyone. Just learn to love them through what you dislike about them.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

CREATED FOR PURPOSE…NOT PAIN! #stopbullying

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In the early to mid 1990’s a little girl bounced, pigtails swinging, into her first day of kindergarten. She insisted on going in alone. As her young parents watched her disappear in the door, both their eyes welled up with tears. This bittersweet day that they, both looked forward to and dreaded had finally come – and it was more bitter than sweet.

You see, this little girl had courageously overcome at least one surgery every year to correct birth defects. The doctors said she would be both blind and brain-damaged to her devastated, but faithful parents at birth. Each year, she would desperately reach back for her parents as staff took her from ‘The Bunny Room’ (where children could choose a toy before surgery) off to the operating room. God honored their faith and through the expert staff at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis TN., she was neither blind nor brain damaged – God worked a miracle in her life.

Her mind was sharp, and God blessed her with sight in one eye and a prosthesis that fit perfectly over the other eye that both looked and moved perfectly.

However, as beautiful as she was, there were still some minor, subtle features that made her feel uncomfortable…and we all know how cruel children can be in school.

This little girl walked in with the excitement and hope of all children to have the friends and normal school experience that all children deserve…and yes she did make good friends. But, there are always those children and some adults who love to amuse themselves and affirm themselves at the expense of others.

This sweet little girl was BULLIED.

This sweet little girl would have her expectations of a happy school year ripped from under her EACH year by a few other children who felt she didn’t deserve to be happy at school.

They weren’t there at the ‘Bunny Room’…

They weren’t there for the pain as the scars healed…

They weren’t there as she looked in the mirror desperately wanting to just feel normal…

They weren’t there when she begged morning after morning to stay home from school…

They weren’t there when she looked her parents though tears asking “why don’t they like me?”

This constant emotional, physical and psychological abuse slowly chipped away at her self-esteem as her parents did everything they could to help their sweet child. There are few things worse than sending your child to a hostile environment…with little to no power to change it.

Sometimes as she put her head in her hands to escape to herself for a few moments, children would still poke her in the back of the head. WHAT IF, in a temporary moment of rage she raised her head and blindly lashed out with a pencil striking one of the bullies in the temple with a pencil…who would be made to look the villain in this situation.

She wasn’t the villain, and didn’t ask to be the victim.

As much as violence has no place in our schools, we must ask ourselves WHY when some students lash out.

When I watch some tragic news stories, I sometimes wonder what led to that point. It isn’t always violent video games and music that lead to such behavior…they sometimes provide the fuel for emotions that have been created through bullying.


Yes, some people come out on top after years of bullying, but everyone isn’t blessed with the same coping mechanisms…some just can’t handle it.


This young lady made it through school allowing herself to continue being hurt, without hurting someone else…but if she had, the last thing she deserved was to be portrayed as a villain and possibly imprisoned because she couldn’t take it any more.

I am in no way defending those children who violently attack their fellow students and teachers, but we must be honest enough with ourselves to realize that SOMETIMES…there is more to the story.

Unfortunately, bullying doesn’t stop in school. Adults do the same thing once they begin working. There are bullies in our offices, stores, factories…anywhere people can work. One of my greatest disappointments in ‘growing up’ in realizing how many of us don’t.

When someone is born with challenges that most of us don’t have to endure, let us not allow bullies to ruin their lives. Too many time our culture not only allows, but sometimes supports this behavior. Let us be sensitive to them, Let us embrace them, nurture them…they deserve to enjoy life as everyone else.

This young lady turned out to be a beautiful person both inside and out – to God be the Glory!

Just as the man born blind in John Chapter 9, many times God has special purpose to get glory out of their lives. Their lives are meant for PURPOSE and not PAIN.

John 9:1-3 (NKJV)

Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

BE BLESSTIFIED

LEMONADE WITHOUT SUGAR…

wp-1472302013866.jpgPeople love clichés.

A well-placed cliché makes conversations, speeches and even sermons more interesting. One very popular cliché used when people have misfortune is or difficulty is, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade”.


BUT WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANY SUGAR?

What if you have a health condition that doesn’t allow you to have sugar?

Sometimes in life we have to faith our way through some difficult days…

Sometimes we have to take some medicine that just doesn’t taste good…

Sometimes you have to swallow a really big pill that’s hard to get down…

Some people can’t have sugar in their diet…

Sometimes your healing comes from something bitter.


AREN’T YOU GLAD THAT JESUS DIDN’T MAKE LEMONADE ON THE CROSS?

2 Timothy 2:3 tells us to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:2 teaches us to look to Jesus, who endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him.

People love quoting Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me” when they are trying to make their dreams come true, but this verse is most powerful when we are enduring life’s most difficult situations.

God wants us to always be able to make something good out of difficult situations, and to always see His will in them. As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, sometimes there’s nothing to make some situations feel ‘or taste’ better.

We just have to faith our way through and learn to sometimes drink lemonade without sugar.

 Psalm 3:19 (ESV)

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
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BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T FALL APART WHEN THEY REFUSE TO INCLUDE YOU…

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You wanted to be A PART, and they wanted you APART

Most of us have had those hurtful, disappointing, eye-opening moments….You know, that moment that you realize that ‘they’ don’t want to include you!

You ever thought…Hey! Wait a minute! What’s going on here???

They may have excluded you…shunned you…

Given you the cold shoulder…

Ingored, snubbed and left you out….wouldn’t let you ‘play in the reindeer games’.


You wanted to be A PART of them, and it’s clear they wanted you to be APART from them.


You know who ‘THEY’ are…

That group…

That team…

That job…

That family…

That industry…

That organization…

That ministry…

That church…

That fraternity…

That sorority…

Those friends…

That clique…

That relationship…

They don’t acknowledge you. They don’t acknowledge your accomplishments. They don’t acknowledge your value…

But, that doesn’t mean they don’t SEE your value.

That’s may be why won’t let you in. NOT, because you aren’t good enough, but because they KNOW you ARE good enough.

They see your potential and your anointing…and SOMETIMES they view it as a THREAT to them.

Be very careful that you don’t push too hard trying to open doors that God may not want you to enter.

Please click here to read my post, “Doors”, from 9/3/16

In fact, thank God for blocking you from getting in. Thank Him for allowing them to…

Ignore you…

Reject you…

Push you away…

Sometimes God allows ‘them’ to do that to prevent us becoming settled in a place that we aren’t meant to be.

Be sensitive to the Spirit of God and as to where He is guiding you.

Remember the good intentions of Paul and his companions as the set their mind to go preach the word in Asia…

Acts 16:6-10 (NKJV)

 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.

As David sought to be a devoted servant to Saul, look at how God allowed Saul to continually try to take David’s life (1 Samuel 18:30, 19:24)…God had something greater for David.

Sometimes God is trying to protect you…to guide you…to point you in the right direction through…

REJECTION!

They’re rejection of you doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not a good place…

It just means that it’s not the place that God has for you.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHAT THE DEVIL WANTS YOU TO FORGET…

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THE DEVIL WANTS YOU TO FORGET…

That he is a liar (John 8:44)…

That God loves you (John 3:16)…

He can only do what God allows (Job 1:12)

God has a plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11)…

How much you love your spouse (Song of Solomon 1:2)…
How much you appreciate your family (1 Timothy 5:8)…

What God has already brought you through ( Judges 10:11-12)…

How happy you were the day you got your job ( 1 Thessalonians 5:18)…

That you promised God you wouldn’t do it again ( Psalm 38:18)…

That you asked God for the person you’re now tired of ( Malachi 2:16)…

That God is willing to forgive you no matter what you’ve done ( Matthew 12:31)….

That God promised that He would never leave you nor forsake you ( Hebrews 13:5)…

The enemy wants you to forget he disguises himself as an angel of light ( 2 Corinthians 11:14)…

He wants you to forget that he doesn’t have the keys nor control of Hell (Revelations 20:10)…

That you have power over him through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (James 4:7)…

2 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV)

11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE REAL, BOTTOM-LINE REASON MARRIAGES FAIL…

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Marriage is a gift of God. It provides life-long companionship and support when we go about it as God has instructed us…but unfortunately too many marriages, Christian marriages, end in divorce.

Why?

Of course, there are various things that lead to failed marriages, but when you think about it there’s ONE common factor…

It’s not the struggle…

It’s not the challenge…

It’s not the trial…

It’s not the situation…

It’s not even the money…

And, it’s not that DEEP…


MARRIAGES FAIL BECAUSE COUPLES FORGET TO HAVE JOY IN ONE ANOTHER!


Joy is a Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)…even marriages of unbelievers and other faiths who have joy in one another stay together.

Marriages fail because couples forget how to simply have joy in one another…through it all.

The enemy manipulates struggles; situations; the trials to provoke…

Division…

Resentment…

Blame…

Cheating…

Giving up on God…

Giving up on each other, rather than growing closer.

Look at Job’s wife during his struggle…

Job 2:9 (NIV)

His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

Struggles in your marriage are a guarantee…

You will always have disagreements.

When you can’t have what you want…

When things don’t work out the way you want…


YOU STILL HAVE EACH OTHER!


Don’t let the enemy manipulate you into forgetting to have joy in one another.

As long as you remember to have joy in just being together….

When God’s love is the bond that holds you together…

Theirs nothing can come between you!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE LIES WE DON’T INTEND TO TELL (MOST OF THE TIME)…

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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SOME OF THE BIGGEST LIES WE TELL ARE…

Not intentionally (most of the time)…have any of these come from your mouth????

I love you…

I’ll pray for you…

I’ll call you back…

That’s okay…

I’m okay…

What’s wrong? “Nothing!”…

That’s hilarious…(and you don’t laugh)

Oh yeah, I remember that…

I don’t remember…

I don’t have it on me…(when asked for money)

That tastes great…

You look great…

I like that…

I’ve got your back…

I love everybody…

I don’t see color…

I’m doing this for you…

That didn’t bother me…

I don’t even care…

I’m over it…

It doesn’t matter…

Remember what Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 12…

 Matthew 12:36 (NKJV)

 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.

Take a moment and thank God for His grace and mercy for the lies…

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WHY ‘LOVE ISN’T ALWAYS LOVE’…#GodlyMarriage

It’s one of the most common catch phrases these days…”Love is love.”

Those who believe that marriage goes beyond a man and woman, as defined in the bible…(Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Ephesians 5:31) say as long as two people love each other, then that’s ALL that matters.

But, that’s not the only situation when love isn’t ALL that matters.

Is it okay to be in love with someone else’s spouse?

Is it okay for an adult to be in love with a minor?

Is it okay to be in love with your relative?

Is it okay to be in love with you best friend’s parent?

Some love is forbidden.

Some love is inappropriate.

Why?

For those who believe in God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it’s because the bible says so.

Godly love has order and distinct behavior as defined in 1 Corinthians Chapter 13.

God’s love is defined and demonstrated all throughout the Old and New Testaments…and it’s not always smiles and good feelings.

Sometimes it’s challenges…

Sometimes it’s discipline…

Sometimes it’s wrath…

Sometimes it’s sacrifice…

Sometimes it’s reconciliation.

Now, if you don’t believe in the bible, there’s not much that can be said to convince you…

But, I’m talking to those who believe the bible is the inspired word of God.

But, more and more Christians are accepting, “Love is love…”

More and more Christians are accepting the thinking that when the bible addresses homosexuality that…”that’s not what it really means”.

But the bible is clear on the topic.

Just because a desire is natural doesn’t make it okay.

We are all created in sin, and our flesh is imperfect.

Psalm 51:5 (NKJV)

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

And in sin my mother conceived me.

 

We are all born with different desires that we didn’t ask for…

Some are more naturally inclined towards violence…

Some are more naturally inclined towards being mean…

Some are more naturally inclined towards being selfish…

Some naturally have an unquenchable appetite for multiple sexual partners (just like King David in the bible)

And, some have a natural desire for people of their own sex.


Natural desires lead to multiple sins…

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NKJV)

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Our natural desires don’t make it right, and doesn’t mean that God made a mistake.


God is love, and His love doesn’t permit us to hate anyone.

Love has order…

Love has particular behavior…

Love has boundaries.

And we all have to resist those desires with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Our desires aren’t what dictate what love is…in fact, sometimes they deceive us.

We don’t define what love is…God does.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

SEDUCED BY SHAPES…

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As I was driving this morning, I passed a REALLY NICE CAR. It’s a car that’s liked and desired by many people…some call it an aspirational vehicle. I thought about how nice it would be to have a car like that one, but then I also thought…

What makes that car look so good to people. What makes it look ‘cool’ rather than boring? It’s not the color because some cars that people call boring are the same color. It’s not only about the speed because an old jalopy can be very fast, but that doesn’t make people want it.

What is it?

It’s the shape!

Think about it. We were both driving. We were both getting where we wanted to go. But, his vehicle was more desirable to many because of the shape.

People have been ‘seduced’ into going deep into debt, sometimes debt they can’t afford because they were seduced by shapes.

We’re seduced by shapes…

Some people even call some cars SEXY.

How can a car be sexy?

The shape!

Think about the shapes that seduce us as humans…

Curves…

Contours…

Exaggerated features…

Hips…

Thighs…

Muscles…

Shoulders…

Breasts…

And yes, what God gave us to sit on…

Have you ever allowed being seduced by shapes to get you in trouble?

God gave us our senses, including sight, for a reason. He wants us to enjoy the pleasures in life, but not let them rule us or control us. That’s why fasting is so important, as spiritual exercise to bring our flesh into subjection so that we aren’t controlled by our desires.

1 Corinthians 9:27 (NKJV)

27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

 Remember what Jesus said…

Matthew 18:9 (NKJV)

And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.

 Of course this isn’t literal, Jesus just wanted to let us know the severity of being seduced by what we see…unless of course you’re that weak, then it would be better to pluck it out if you just can’t help yourself.

Think again of the shapes that seduce you…and make sure that more than anything your seduced by the shape of…

THE CROSS of Calvary!

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BE BLESSTIFIED!

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