When “Love” Feels Like a Four-Letter Word
by Christy Pearce
Read Matthew 5:43-48
Her name was Lisa.
I HATED that girl…with a passion. But she hated me first.
Even though I was only seven years old, I will never forget how much she ruined my fun when she showed up. I detested the sound of her voice.
But there was this one time we both temporarily lost our minds, and we decided to try to be friends. It lasted a couple of days, but we couldn’t hold the hatred back. It ended with her spewing ugly words my way, and me smacking her across the face. (And running away…)
There was NO way I was going to show her love; it wasn’t a thought in my mind. She was just too mean. Lisa was my enemy.
If you have ever been suffocated by the emotion of hate, then you know “loving enemies” is easier said than done. Love goes against all that is naturally in us, and we are incapable of doing it.
And that is exactly what Christ came to prove. That we CAN’T fulfill the law. At least not without His presence in our lives.
Anger, Lust, Adultery, Divorce, Lying, Retaliation…these are the things we humans have a natural bent toward—unless you are God come in human flesh.
Christ didn’t come down here to condemn us, because He didn’t have to.
Instead, He did what was completely impossible for us to do. He came to fulfill all of the law’s demands. He lived out the rules of God perfectly with all His mind, heart and strength.
If we don’t know that it really is impossible for us to obey God, we are missing out on the magnitude of what Christ was accomplishing on our behalf.
Even if we manage to put on a great performance outwardly, our hearts are always corrupted in some way. We need something more. More than outward conformity to law, more than what we can conjure up within ourselves. We need the One who fulfilled the law to fill our hearts.
Do as I Say AND as I Do
God wants us to understand who He is, and He so beautifully reveals His character by the laws He asks us to keep.
He calls to us, “Love your enemies.”
Because He is a lover of enemies. That’s you and me. We desperately need His love, and He proved it with the pinnacle of all demonstrations. He sent Jesus to live and die on our behalf.
He loved us when we thought He was ruining our fun.
He loved us when we detested the sound of His voice.
He loved us when we hated Him.
When we were His enemies, He chose to lavish us with the greatest love known to mankind. He provided an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and welcomed us to sit at His table.
He calls us to love those around us in the same way.
Well, I’m not seven anymore and I have no idea where Lisa is today. But I know this: I’ve been called to love her. And if you have someone like Lisa in your life, you have been called to love him or her, too.
This thought leaves me broken.
I’m broken that I wasted time hating another person, and I’m broken that sometimes it feels so impossible to love anyone more than I love myself.
Two of the best words in the world.
Romans 5:8: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Christ showed His love for the world, and He will surely strengthen us by His Spirit to do the same.
Do you have a “Lisa” in your life?
- What steps can you begin taking to love that person?
- Have you ever considered how incapable we are of obeying God?
- Spend a moment thinking about how God used His command to love to illustrate His character of love.
Christy would love to connect with you! Leave her a comment below and you can stop by her blog, “Faith Like Dirty Diapers,” and see how God can use everyday events—even a diaper change—to strengthen us with words of life
Facebook: Faith Like Dirty Diapers-God Speaks in Everything, Even a Dirty Diaper
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