“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.”
1 John 4:7-11
Heard a story the other day in class that goes along with these verses from 1 John and I pray your perspective of love, and loving others is rocked as much as mine was.
A man was hiking through the wilderness. Everything was going just fine until he saw a bear approaching him. He tried to walk slowly away but the bear started running towards him so the man took off! He came to the end of the trail and saw the bear coming. He faced a huge drop off in front of him and the other side of the trail was impossible to reach. He faced impending death by staying on that side where the bear was sure to find him and catch him. And there was no way across without falling hundreds of feet onto rocks. Then he looked to his right and there was a tree that had fallen between the two sides. He ran to the tree and took this option as it was his great escape and only way out of death.
We are the man. We were facing impending death to our sins, an eternity of hell, we were surrounded by nothing but death until God sent His one and only Son as a sacrifice for our sins giving us our great escape. Because of this great display of love, the cross was laid between the death we deserve and was the bridge of separation from death to life. You want to know what even more awesome?? When Jesus made this sacrifice to be our great escape He knew that many would reject Him and all would still sin against Him and fall into the deathly traps of the world even after believing in Him as the Son of God. But He loved us so much that He paid the price and gave us life, a life of freedom and victory over the death we were once surrounded by, a life of eternity.
Our story of our great escape is covered by love with God as the author. Love paid the price and gave us a way out. This love shown to us by God was real love. It had nothing to do with us loving Him, love comes from God and as children of His we are taught in love, we are molded and grown by love, we were given the greatest example to ever walk the earth on how to love in Jesus Christ. What excuse do we have not to love each other? Zero. What if that person says something mean or does something mean to you? Still no excuse because God loved us despite our wrongdoings, if we are children of God we love every single person no matter what they look like, their status, or how awful they may treat us. Love. I’ve struggled with this in my own life and watched others struggle with this too. I guess it’s in our fleshly nature to want to get back at someone who wrongs us or thinking the answer to our problem is to react in the same way that someone harshly acted toward us.
Here’s the lesson to myself and all of us, we don’t have to act out of what we think is right because we are children of God, walking with God means walking in love. Jesus shows us time and time again that the answer in those situations where we want to tear someone’s head off is love. Love is the only way to change anything. If you don’t believe it or don’t want to, try it out, God will show you how when His love is seen by others, it can’t be denied. If His love completely changed the course of our lives and gave us a way out, don’t you think it can change the negative Nelly’s in your life that keep coming at you with nothing nice to say? Cmon now.
Look at it this way:
Mean+ mean= MORE MEAN
Mean+love=More love than mean, a transforming love that counteracts the mean
Sorry I had to pull out my calculator real quick. Love is always the answer no matter what comes at us. Maybe we can’t control how people act to us but all we can control is how we act and react to them. Control what you can control, love and serve people as Jesus has done for you and if they can’t see the love then that’s on them but keep loving with the hope they do! I pray we learn how to see the magnitude of God’s love for us and He molds us and grows us each day to be loving to all so the world can see how great His love is and the great escape from impending death can be crossed by many who come in contact with God’s vessels of His real and perfect love.