Jesus commanded us in His Word, to love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourself. Recently, I’ve been challenged in this area. He doesn’t say to love those that love us, or love those that are easy to love. He doesn’t say to love those that treat us right. He says to love others as He loves us. When I finally got the message that He loved me, no matter what I have done, or what I was doing, or what I was going to do, it filled me with such gratitude that I could hardly contain it. Then He said, “now share this love with others”, and so the journey began.
He began to bring people into my life that needed to know that unconditional love that I had finally received and He began to teach me what it really means to love. When you open your heart to show love, you open yourself up to be hurt. Loving others can be a wonderful experience, but if we are not motivated by God, we will usually crash and burn. If we are seeking approval from others it will end badly.
One person that I reached out and showed love to disappointed me deeply and my husband and my daughter had to suffer the consequences of this person’s actions. As I was apologizing to my daughter, she said, “Mom you thought the best of this person, and that is what we are commanded to do.” Those words broke the spell the enemy had over me. You see he was condemning me and telling me, “see, look how you hurt your family”.
Learning to love others the way Jesus taught us to love is messy. It very often leaves us vulnerable to being hurt and we need to continue to keep our heart open and risk being hurt over and over again. When you think about it, that’s how God loves us every day. Romans 5:8 tells us “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God loved us enough to sacrifice His one and only son, knowing that many would reject this precious gift, but He chose to love us and offer His gift to each and every one of us regardless of the outcome. That is how He commands us to demonstrate love to others.
Who can you show the love of Jesus to today? When did you first understand just how precious you are to God?