I was thinking the other day about how Jesus loved everyone while He walked on earth. Of course He loves everyone even today, but think about it. He loved every sinner … the lame, the diseased, the hungry, the poor, the disciples, Herod, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and even us, before we were born. Every. Single. One.
And we’re supposed to be like Him.
I can’t do that.
I want to, but I always seem to fall short of the goal. My selfish nature worms its way into the mix and trips me up.
Oh, I’ve gotten better at it the longer I’ve walked with God, but it’s still a struggle and I often wonder if I’ll ever be like Christ.
Some of my favorite scriptures about this can be found in 1 John 3: 16, 18, and 23:
16 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers.
18 Little children, we must not love in word or speech, but in deed and truth;
23 Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us.
Can I love others better?
Absolutely. I’d hate to think that I couldn’t grow from where I sit today. But how to do that? Where to start?
I started by asking God to help me to see people through His eyes. He didn’t waste any time answering me.
Within days I noticed a slightly perceptible change in the way I was viewing people. I might be able to describe the change like this … people started looking softer to me. Fuzzy around the edges. More pliable, perhaps weaker … but not in a bad way. Easily injured. Almost as though everyone’s heart was very close to the surface, even if they thought that they had thick skin.
Lots of changes came quickly for me after that, but most importantly was the way I treated others. I became outwardly kinder – more considerate. I’m softer with others. Not so quick to judge. And if I do make that mistake, I apologize – quickly – to the person and to God.
I also started really listening to the way people spoke to each other. Sometimes I overhear one person talking to another and I cringe. I wonder … if we even had half a clue about the damage our speech does to others would we stop? Would we zip our lips? If we could see the internal destruction, would we place our heads in our hands and cry?
If we didn’t I don’t think we could call ourselves Christ’s followers.
Will you try this, this weekend, dear friend? Will you ask God to show you how He sees people? Be ready. He will do it and you will be astounded.
Father, please be gentle with us. We know you want us to grow into a mirror image of your Son, but we are mere humans, warriors for you and yet fragile beings in this sinful world we live in. Help us to view others through your eyes and keep us strong through the reality we will begin to see. Through this change in understanding we will become stronger and more able to bring your love to the world. In the name above every other name, our Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!