All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me.
So, they reward me evil for good, and hatred for my love.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
When you open your heart and invest yourself into the life of another, you may find yourself hurt from the experience. Real, genuine love when put into practice is sacrificing the self for the sake of another.
We love another expecting to be loved in return. But what happens when our expectations are not met?
Job was a wealthy man who gave generously to his family, friends, and those in need. But when he lost his home, business, family, and even his health, his friends and even his wife considered him an outcast. When he needed help at the lowest point of his life, his wife recommended he curse God and die. His small circle of friends visited him preaching religious sound bytes. Instead of extending the truthful love he actually needed at the time, they beat him down further.
The Psalmist complained about those around him who returned his love with hate and the good he did came back with evil replies.
Jesus himself paid the ultimate price. HIS love for others disappeared into betrayal when his disciples fled away as he was taken prisoner in the night.
Yes, when you love others, you risk becoming hurt from the experience. But the risk is the price we pay to experience the greatest high this life has to offer – God’s love flowing in you and through you.
More books and movies have are made under the theme of love than any other. Based on my observations, love is the natural human epitome of experiencing the God-life. When we connect with another person in a way to contribute more toward their well being, we taste the character of God. When we sacrifice our time, money, and resources for their betterment, the feeling and pleasure we receive is another taste of God’s character. And since we are made in HIS image, we get to partake in how HE lives and shares life with others by loving others.
The Bible reminds us that God is love (1 John 4:8). The closer we lean on HIM, the more HIS character rubs unto us. Yet, like HIM, the pleasure of love also has another side – the pain of love.
We see this throughout the Old Testament where God’s people constantly and repeatedly would backslide into rebellion. From Adam & Eve to the startup nation of Israel, and all the people since is a history of blessings and curses in the name of love. God continues to exercise HIS steadfast love toward HIS earthly children. They either passively rebel, or openly rebel against HIM. The history of God’s people is a roller-coaster ride of super highs followed by drastic lows. Yet, every time God is hurt from our responsiveness, he refuses to except the situation. Instead HE moves on to extend HIS steadfast love through other means.
Every time you love someone, the risk is you will be hurt or disappointed. Yet, we are most grateful to surrender any potential pain unto Him who knows such pain – Jesus Christ. Our responsibility is to sacrificially love everyone. Yet be wise. Whether we live or die from such action, we trust God will be with us throughout the process. And that is always a good place to be.
Rooting For You in Christ!
Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler
Available for Your Devotional Study:
- Stay Free…Avoid Worldly Traps
- Overflowing Prayers Rooted in Jesus Christ v1 & v2
- Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
- Great Business Emulates a Good God
- Simply The Messenger
- Unequally Married
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