What kind of love do I give to others? Jesus said to love my enemies; do good to those who hate me; bless those who curse me; pray for those that hurt me. And then Jesus gives specific examples that put His kind of love in perspective. If someone slaps me, I offer him the other cheek. When someone demands something from me, I give it to him. If someone asks for help, I give it. If someone takes something from me, I don't try to get it back. Do to others as I would like them to do to me. (Luke 6:27-30, NLT).
This kind of love knows no bounds. It gives unconditionally like the Grace of Jesus.
The world has become highly polarized into opposing political parties—opposing views—opposing races. And what is the answer? The love of Jesus Christ flowing in my life—freely given away as Jesus gave himself for me. Christ gave His life for all humanity. He died for every life, whether that person believes in Him or not. Jesus held me in the highest regard, so why can’t I do the same for those who oppose me? The world opposed Jesus, but He loved us anyway. The “me” mentality of “what about my need” pushes people away. And if I think that only others are guilty of this, then I should look at myself. Jesus humbled himself to die for me. Can't I humble myself and lay down my needs for someone else?
“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” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT).
His love is kind. It is not boastful or jealous or proud or rude. The love of Jesus never demands its own way. It doesn't keep a record of those who have caused pain or been unfair. Jesus never demanded anything for himself but, instead, gave His life. Do I keep an account of those who have said things that have hurt or slighted me? Christ’s love never rejoices about injustice but always rejoices when truth wins. The justice Jesus offers is full of forgiveness and grace. Do I extend the gift of His mercy? The love of Jesus never gives up. It always has faith to believe in what is not seen or heard. Looking beyond the selfishness of the human heart, His kind of love is hopeful and perseveres through any circumstance. If Christ's unconditional love is not alive in me, I have nothing to offer but my own selfishness.
Who bridges the polarized oppositions in this world? Who steps out in faith and loves the unlovely? Jesus does when I allow His Grace to flow through me. If I feel a need to push my opinion or agenda, I need to remember that Jesus had no plan but to give His life. He had no opinion but Truth, but did He demand that others believe it? No, He died so they could.
Our world is starving for the love and grace of Jesus, but it doesn’t realize it. When I allow the “me mentality” or “what I want and what I know is right” to be crucified with Him, I can share His grace that keeps no accounts. The love of Jesus can reach others like no opinion ever will. His Gospel of Grace flowing through our lives is the power that changes hearts. His love never gives up and never loses faith in me. And I want His love in me to never give up and lose faith in others.
©2021 Lynn Lacher