The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love- so you can’t know him if you don’t love.
I John 4:8 MSG
When in doubt, offer love. Oftentimes I react out of fear instead of love. I act out of anger and bitterness, out of remembering old resentments. I act based on “what ifs” and projections into the future. I do not act in love. I think instead, “They don’t deserve my forgiveness, my love, my kindness.” According to the ways of the world, maybe they don’t. But according to Jesus, everyone deserves love. Everyone deserves forgiveness. Everyone deserves the fiftieth chance. This does not necessarily mean that I have to cause myself to be vulnerable. That is not what love is. Love is offering kind words. Love offers a hug. Love accepts them as they are and not how you want them to be. Love continues to believe, it continues to hope in the very best in the person. Love draws out the best in others instead of believing in their worst. Love focuses on the best qualities in the other person instead of focusing on the negative aspects. Love doesn’t worry about what others will think. Love doesn’t focus on how other people will perceive me. Love acts in the interests of the other person. Love wants others to flourish. Love does not hope for the worst. It hopes for the best. Love doesn’t not fear. It is courageous. Love serves.
This is what we are to offer others, because this is what God offers us. He always believes in me. When I was lost, he always hoped I would return. He does not care how others perceive how He loves me, He loves me incessantly. He loves me no matter if my theology is right or if it is wrong. He loves me when I think I’m right when I am actually wrong. He loves me when I slander His Name and His character. He loves me when I make mistakes. He loves me when I serve Him and when I don’t do a single thing for Him. He forgives me for anything and everything, even my blatant and willful sins. He loves me enough to not only to save me, but to continue to make me alive, more alive each and everyday.
Because He loves me so wondrously, because he sees me through stars in His eyes, can’t I also offer love to those around me?
Help me to love like you love. Help me to love purely, not focusing on failures in others but in their beauty and in the goodness I see in them. Help me to draw out their amazing qualities, to see the good in them. To believe in them when the hope seems small. Let me cast off negativity, slander and maliciousness. For God, you breathe life into me, and I know that only You can do that. You have offered me such hope and forgiveness, may I not hesitate to offer it. I am like the servant that had been forgiven a huge debt by his master, but could not let go of a tiny insignificant debt made by a fellow servant. He made his fellow servant be thrown into prison to pay the price. Forgive me Father. May I forgive others from my heart.
Verses: Matthew 18:21-35, I Corinthians 13:4-8, I John 4:8, 18
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