Looking at “Loving God and Others” I was reminded that love does not define God, rather God defines love. As believers, the Holy Spirit resides in us; therefore we should be the expression of the love of God. It is not enough to simply tell others “I love you”; we demonstrate it by meeting their needs.
We had a need, salvation, and God met that need by sending His Son. It always amazes me that despite all we did, do, or will do, God still loves us. But even sweeter than that is realizing that God sent His Son and He took our sins on the cross, died for us, and all despite the pain and suffering we caused Him, He wants to be an intimate part of our life. Now that is HUGE!
It would have been a terrible thing if God had simply said that He loved us and that He loved the world and yet did not send His Son to die on the cross, knowing our need for salvation. Or if He were to say, He forgave us, but then refused to have anything to do with us.
Perhaps you have been hurt, don’t just say you love someone and have their best in mind – prove it! Forgive them! Loving others with God’s love often involves a sacrifice of time, emotions, possessions, and more. But in light of the sacrifice God made for us by sending His Son, our choice to love others, even if they hurt us, demonstrates our gratefulness to Him and will be a sacrifice well worth making.
When we really grasp how much He forgave us and the fact that He still longs to have an intimate relationship with us, it should radically affect our relationships. None of the hurts we have suffered at the hands of others even compare to what Jesus suffered because of us. To say we love someone and want their best and even that we are praying for them, yet refuse to have anything to do with them and even cause others to pull away, is just wrong. God defines this kind of love as unconditional – and to love someone unconditionally is to choose to love them despite the pain and suffering they may have caused us, as well as our perceived hurts.
As believers we are to live surrendered to Him. That means we give up our rights. In regard to this it means we give up the right not to be hurt or to make someone pay for the hurt they caused. We are to love them as God loved us and the only way we can do that is to crucify the flesh in our lives and allow God to love them through us. To not do so is to fall short of the standard God has set for His children.
How are you doing with that? Is there anyone in your life that you were close to at one point but because of hurt (both real and perceived) you have pulled away? Perhaps its time to ask God to search your heart as David did in the Psalms, and then act on anything He might show you.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” – Psalm 139:23–24
How does God define Love? Forgiving even those who hurt you!
If you have forgiven someone who has hurt you, please share your story with us. It will be an encouragement to others who have been hurt and perhaps give them the courage to prove God’s love – by forgiving them.