Knowing the worst, believing the best.
We’ll never really understand God’s love for us without sacrifice; without paying the price to love others. Loving others doesn’t mean much if we only love the people we choose to love, or love them on our own terms, at a convenient time, place, occasion, and in comfortable conditions. Loving those who are different from us in personality, culture, gender, race, background, likes, dislikes, etc., and loving them in spite of their faults – that’s the challenge! Displaying the same kind of sacrificial love, that Jesus lavishes on us, calls for death to self-interest; it goes against our grain!
We’ve a tendency to think that some people are ‘naturals’ when it comes to loving. We think they’re just ‘nice’. We wish we could be like them. Those who follow this line of thinking use it as an excuse for not being loving. They feel absolved of any responsibility to change: “That’s just the way I am. I don’t happen to be outgoing. Loving others isn’t easy for me.” Jesus made it clear when it comes to the way we are to love others. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34). Notice the words “As I have loved you.” Jesus doesn’t penalise us for our past, or label us, locking us into it forever. Knowing the worst about us, He still believes the best. And that’s how He expects us to love one another!
Peter Morphew – College Chaplain