Other people’s behavior is not our responsibility, how we treat other people is. I pray that I can become better at loving others and treating them with kindness no matter their actions. This has been laid heavily upon my heart lately, but I continue to fail. Dear God, please help me. Help me to love like you love. Help me to remember that when you hung on the cross, you hung there bearing their sins AND MINE. I am no better than they. I am filthy. I am a wretched sinner. I am the one who put you there. And I need to love you with all of my heart and follow after your teaching because of it, which includes loving those around me anyway.
The Bible puts incredible emphasis on love.
It says to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength. That is the greatest commandment the Bible gives us.
Matthew 22:37, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
It tells us that love is the most important thing.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV), “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
It tells us we need to love everyone. Even those who have done wrong towards us.
Matthew 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”
To love others the way we need to is not possible for us to accomplish. It is deeply engraved in our heart to go into self defense mode when we have been attacked. We want to push back. Let them know that they cannot treat us like that and get away with it.
True, genuine, freely given love is a hopeless cause it seems.
But God embodies such a love. He IS such a love.
There is hope.
It is exclusively through God that I can love the way people need to be loved. No, it’s not easy. In fact, I will never achieve the perfect love. But I will never stop striving to be like my Jesus. He was the Perfect Love. He loved unconditionally. He loved everyone. As he hung on the cross and people spat in his face and scoffed, he loved.
The soul of a person is more important than their action. I need to remember that. It hurts. It doesn’t sound pleasant. It goes against the natural feeling of wanting to fight back. But it’s worth it. It’s right. It’s what God requires of me to do.
My mom often tells me that when someone hurts her, she feels God whispering to her to pray for them. It is painfully humbling. God loves them just as much as me. I need to love anyway.
Also, you may be thinking that just because we love someone we accept all they believe and we will have a relationship full of trust and mutual respect. That is not the case. Don’t love someone for what they believe or have done. Because if that is so I have a feeling no one would love anyone. But rather, love because they are a soul breathed by God. And if you have been hurt, loving them does not mean that you have to trust them on the same level. Trust is earned, love is freely given. Once that trust is damaged, it must be repaired. Love, on the other hand, must always be bestowed on them. God did not stop loving me when I spoke angrily towards someone, or talked about someone behind their back. I have to learn to love in spite of a fallen, sinful world. I want to strive to live a life of love.
I need to love anyway.
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” -1 John 3:16-18