“I have given Christ countless reasons not to love me. None of them changed His mind.” ~ Paul Washer
If we are honest, we would have to admit that we have a certain ranking that we place on others in life. The ranking is similar to a likert scale ranging from “Having nothing to do” with a person to “Always wanting that person around”. There are some people that we have absolutely nothing to do with. There are some people that we hate. There are others that we tolerate. There are still others that mildly amuse us. There are others that we put up with. There are still more that we like. And there are those that we love and want to be around.
One of the mysteries that boggles people’s minds is the fact that God has no likert scale for people. Quite simply, He loves us all: completely, enthusiastically, unapologetically, and unconditionally. There is no one that He would prefer to ignore. There is not a single person toward whom He is lukewarm. There is no one with whom He merely puts up with. No. He loves us all. That’s the good news.
The bad news, from our perspective, is that He also asks us to love as He loves, totally and unconditionally. Just as we give Christ umpteen reasons not to love us, there are others who give us umpteen reasons not to love them. We give them the same reasons not to love us. We are called by Christ to put all hurts aside and to love.
Christ’s love came at a great cost for Him. It was not a piece of cake. It was not a walk in the park. It was a brutal journey to Calvary where He was nailed to a cross and hung to die. That was the cost of His love. Yet, it was a cost that He gladly bore because of His great love for us.
Reflecting upon that makes me feel guilty on a pretty regular basis because I often find reasons not to like or love others. I let the things that they say or do get in the way. I pick and choose, judge and condemn. That is all a part and parcel of human nature. I constantly struggle against that and, oftentimes, I am victorious. But, I have to admit that I fail just as often.
Jesus gave us the best model of love and He gives us the grace that we need to love as He loves if we just ask it of Him. It is difficult to love. Love nonetheless.
FAITH ACTION: As Christ loves you so completely, love those you encounter today.