You ever know someone who just loves other people well? It’s pretty incredible to watch. I suck at it, so when I see someone who does it well, it’s literally one of the most admirable and awe-striking things I could possibly witness. Seriously. It is.
I typically have a terrible poker face if I’m annoyed with someone. In fact, I just have one of those faces where it looks like I’m always annoyed even though I’m not. There’s even a term for it. The Christian version would be “b***** resting face”.
The thing is, I know I don’t show love well, and I hate that about myself. I pray about it. I am well aware I do it. And again, I pray about it. Even the Bible knows guys in general are terrible at it. In Ephesians 5:25 it tells husbands to love their wives. Who needs to be told to do that?? Guys do. So what’s the deal..
I think about this daily because I’m reminded of it daily. Why? Because some people are the worst, then I’m the worst towards them.
And while driving down the road the other day, it hit me. I believe God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, revealed it to me – the most simple explanation to the most perplexing problem I have – that is, me knowing I’m the worst and hating that about myself. The answer: other people know they’re the worst and hate that about themselves, too.
So here we are. Just a bunch of people on this planet who know they suck at loving others and want to change, but are constantly screwing that up by doing the complete opposite.
Why is it so hard to love? Because other people are awful. But other people know they are awful and hate that about themselves. What do they/we need? They need people to love them anyways. They need an example of love. (also all the ‘other people’ and ‘they’s’ you could swap for ‘I’)
I’ll tell you this. Apart from the example Jesus set, I have no idea how to do this on my own. Literally. No clue. People think Jesus is this guy who hates people who sin, but He was the total opposite. He showed people so much love that they followed him and left everything. Former prostitutes, thieves, criminals – social outcasts at the time – Jesus just loved them. And it remains true to my first paragraph: “…when I see someone who does it well, it’s literally one of the most admirable and awe-striking things I could possibly witness.” It’s one of the most magnetic qualities a person can possess because it’s so counter-culture. It’s not normal, but it’s a great and beautiful thing when done well. This is why Jesus remains to have so many followers. Who doesn’t want to be loved?
And the people who do it well? Some of them are people who have every excuse to be awful. They’ve had terrible deaths in their family, experienced incredibly difficult lives, and have gone through unfathomable trials, but by clinging to and following the example Jesus set, they are some of the most joyful and greatest people I know. There is no other explanation to the type of love they show. They just do what Jesus did and live transformed lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Takeaways? If you want to know how Jesus loved, if you suck at loving, or if you’re the worst, read Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. See how Jesus loved. Know that He still loves you. And if you don’t believe that, I can certainly point you to some folks who live it out well.