This is the fourth in my series of Can A Christian ...? It's obvious that if we call ourselves Christians, or followers of Jesus Christ, that we think we automatically have these qualities...we know we should forgive others, we know we should trust God with everything, and we know we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us, but sometimes we struggle with those things.
This topic here is on love. Can a Christian love? When we think of God, we think of love:
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish,
but have eternal life.
As Christ followers, we know that we are to love God first and foremost, and love others as ourselves. Jesus tells us that. My question to you is: How well are you loving others?
Honestly, this is a struggle of mine, and I realize that. I have asked the Lord to help me to love others the way I should. Compassionately. Patiently. Nonjudgementally. I know He loves me that way, and I so appreciate His mercy and grace, for I have fallen more times than I want to admit. No matter what I do, He loves me anyway.
How can we love others who are unloveable, at least in our minds? There will always be people who hurt us, offend us, gossip about us, cheat us, let us down. The reasons are endless. (But so is His love!) For me, as I meditate on this, I have come to the realization that I need to look at people differently than I have. I need to try to see them as Jesus does. Sinners in need of grace.
Sometimes people have no idea that they have offended others. And sometimes, because they have had terrible pasts of abuse and rejection, they are unable to show love to others. They may be hurting inside, and are just smearing that hurt on anyone who is within their space. Maybe you fall into that category. (I hope not!)
Because of that, when I think that others may have unknown reasons why they get on my "unloveable list", I get more tolerant. I am able to give them some slack. Another chance. After all, there have been times when I acted unloveable to another, and later on regretted it, hoping that person would give me some slack...another chance. God looks at the inside of people, where we can only look on the outside. He knows we are works in progress. Becoming a Christian doesn't immediately turn us into a saint, even though we are one. We are a work in progress indeed, and for some of us, it takes longer than for others. Sometimes it isn't easy to love everyone, but with God's help, we can get better at it. It takes deliberation, but I believe it brings alot of peace. Instead of fretting, we are forgiving. Instead of complaining, we are praying. Instead of hating, we are loving.
Is this possible for you? As you think about your relationships, are you able to truly love everyone? Yes, you can, with God's help. As He has loved us, so must we love others. Because Jesus is our model, we can love others the way He calls us to do.
Dear Lord, as we think about our ability to love others,
we realize that our efforts are limited.
We ask You to help us to love as we should.
To look at others through Your eyes,
and to treat them with compassion.
Thank You for Your love and mercy towards us.
Thank you for giving us another chance.
In Jesus' Name,