Thursday, September 25, 2014

Do We Know What It Is To Love As Jesus Loved?

Relationship is far from easy. Even the best ones take a lot of work, investment and maintenance. We soon discover that if we do not look after our relationships they will slowly fade into non-existence. They can be complicated and at some point require us to make the decision to continue or walk away. But some of the best relationships are those that cost us the most.

Much of the philosophy today tells you to walk away from anything that isn't positive. But what is positive? I hope it is obvious that any abusive relationships should be abandoned. Emotional and physical abuse are not things that anyone should have to tolerate. This is certainly negative but much of the message from people these days is that any form of negativity should be cause for abandonment. If this is the case, Jesus would have walked away from everyone he encountered.

At some point the principles of the Kingdom need to rule your decision making, especially when it comes to relationships. According to what Jesus taught and demonstrated, relationships are not about what you get out of them but about what you put into them. Excellent relationships involve two sides who live by this Kingdom principle, but even if it is only you, that relationship is worth it because you are serving and ministering to that person. You are the aroma of Christ to them.

What is the reason you do not give up on your relationship with Jesus? It is not always easy. Many times we are asked to trust when we see no just reason to do so. Many times we are asked to do things that we disagree with. There are even times when we feel isolated and alone. So why do we keep going forward, seeking even greater intimacy? Is it not because of how Jesus served us; what he has done for us?

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lamentations 3:22-24)

The Lord has proven his love for us many times over so when things get tough we are willing to trust him; trusting that he is for us not against us. That is the level of relationship we are to have with people. Friendship is proven in the fires of difficulties but it is built upon acts of love, mercy, grace, compassion, forgiveness. It is not easy to love everyone but you soon discover that the best relationships are those that have cost you the most.

Jesus has never and will never give up on us. We know it, he has proven it and we move forward in that confidence. So now, be that friend to someone else. Be the person that people know they can trust to never abandon them even in the midst of their stupidity. Everyone needs someone to love them at their worst, so show them the sincerity of Jesus' love by loving them as Jesus has loved you.

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