In our Sunday school two weeks ago, we talked about love – a fruit of the spirit. The love of God is so deep that mere words don’t do justice to explaining it. Sending Jesus Christ to die for us was as a result of His love for us. I think we are ok with knowing and acknowledging this. But the challenging part is that God wants us to love others with His kind of love. This is where most of us struggle. I would have been fine if He said I should love others as much as they loved me but He didn’t give a selection of who this kind of love should be extended to. He wants me/us to love everyone.
Since that lesson, i have being thinking a lot about this topic. Do i really love others the way God wants me to love them? How often do i quit on people. I have given up on people. I have tried protecting my heart as i don’t want it hurt again. Love comes with vulnerability. For God to fully show us His love, He had to make Jesus Christ vulnerable to pain, rejection, denial, and all sort of unpleasant life experiences. This is the part i don’t like.
I try to also protect myself because of past experiences. People can be mean and i have seen this so many times. This has made me start living myself in a certain way. Beneath the “i don’t want trouble” sentence, hides fear of being disappointed and hurt. Fear of being taken for granted. Fear of being trampled upon by others. I have lost count of how many times my kindness and my easy going personality has been taken for granted. I have been spoken to in ways i honestly don’t want to be ever spoken to again by others who claim they were doing it in love. All of these has made me redefine the way i chose to love others.
However if i claim i love or want to love others the way God wants me to, i have to reevaluate my heart and accept that love is associated with pain. Jesus Christ’s life proves this. Marriage also proves this. There is no way i can really show my love to my husband if i’m always protecting myself from being hurt.
The word “love” is something that has become so common that we tend to use it without really knowing what we are committing to. As Christians, our love shouldn’t be based on situations and circumstances. It shouldn’t be based on our selfish gain.
We are to love the unlovable. It’s pretty easy to love those who speak well of us, those who love us and those who respect us. Loving those who don’t deserve it can be hard. There are logical reasons why our mind can justify not loving someone. I ended the sunday school class with 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 because i felt it was important we left the class with this scripture in mind.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
I know we quote this scripture a lot but it is very deep. How many times do we see someone who claim they are correcting another person in love getting angry over the response received. How about the number of lives we hear something bad happening to others and even if we don’t speak it out, we feel they deserve what has befallen them? Oh what of the many times we have given up on others just because we think they aren’t willing to change?
As I read this scripture, I started remembering the times i have claimed i loved and how the above doesn’t qualify my actions at the time as love.
I left with a decision not just to love but to extend this love to the unlovable. To those who i have built a wall against.
The next day I experienced my first test with this decision. I have been trying to reconnect with one of my old friends who for a while who has suddenly gone quiet. All effort to reach her hasn’t been productive. Recently I was thinking of her and I felt like giving up. The Holy Spirit reminded me of this topic. God never gives up on us. As I was pondering on this, I felt a fresh grace to keep loving and showing her love even when her actions isn’t really nice at the moment. If not for the Holy Spirit, it’s natural for me to give up in this situation.
God’s kind of love isn’t something we can accomplish by our ability. Without the help of the Holy Spirit there is no way our love can be as pure as the one defined above.
I know there are situations where wisdom need to be applied. Instead of creating walls as a result of life experiences, let’s ensure we are allowing the Holy Spirit lead us even in these situations. We can’t do a better job at protecting ourselves more than the Holy Spirit. He knows how to protect and guard us. Experience isn’t the best teacher. The Holy Spirit is the best teacher.
One of the most common phrase often used in the church is “i’m saying this in love” or “i’m correcting in love”. However i have seen these phrases used countless number of times as a camouflage to give others pieces of our mind. It will help if we stop using the Holy Spirit as a weapon to cover up our unclean hearts. Let’s stop doing our thing and attaching the name of Holy Spirit to it.
Doing a heart check with 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 will help us stay on track. God knows this isn’t something that we can do by ourselves, hence it is a fruit of the spirit. The spirit helps us to radiate the love of Jesus Christ. But He is only able to do this when we yield ourselves to Him.
Let’s rely on the Holy Spirit and let Him use us as a medium to radiate God’s love. When we love as God wants us to love, we will see changes in our lives, families, societies and in the church. This truly convicted me. I am always grateful for the Holy Spirit’s convictions. Makes me see where i need to do better.
Blessings to you❤️