Somewhere along the way I came to believe that I deserve to be treated a certain way because if God is for me who can be against me and surely he is on MY side, right (spoiler alert: he loves ALL of his children)?
Okay, true…but have you read the Gospels? You know, where Jesus himself, the Son of God who was holding a massive trump card all along, was mocked, spit on, harshly ridiculed, and then put to death. He simply took the treatment in the name of LOVE and urged us to do the same. He was humble and self-restrained enough not to name drop who He was and more importantly WHOSE he was and did not use his power to gain favor.
Speaking of favor, he wasn’t always well liked which is another thing that sometimes we forget that popularity is not apart of our heavenly benefits package.
Do you know when Jesus was pep-talking his closet followers, he told them if someone hits you, turn the other cheek and let them getcha’ on that one too, and if they take your jacket, GIFT-WRAP a brand new one and give it to them. I don’t know about you, but when I feel as if I’ve been wronged the last thing I want to do is give them a present!
Obviously, I am paraphrasing a little, but the point of this story is for you and I to wake up to the reality that following Jesus means that we don’t always get our way. We don’t always get to justify our questionable behavior because of someone else’s equally questionable behavior.
If you are anything like me, you are tempted to FIGHT for fairness and demand respect and I think it is time we put more energy into becoming LOVE than fighting for what we believe to be fair. Let’s dig into scripture and study the life of Jesus. I truly believe he knew what he was saying when he said that the greatest commandment was to love God and love others with ALL your heart, ALL your soul and ALL your mind.
Notice he didn’t say love others when it’s easy or love others when they are nice to you or love others when it’s convenient or love others only if they can repay you for your love. When we harvest bitterness and focus on keeping tabs of how we love and how it is received, we have NO room to fully love God and fully love others.
Make room in your hearts and minds today to give love with no return address or need for validation. Jesus will meet you in your surrender!
“Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all you passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.” Message Version Matthew 22:37-40