Every day I ask God to teach me to love better, because I think in general I don’t do it very well.
In my own life, I have found it to be very difficult.
If I’m going to love someone well, I have to be mindful of what’s best for them. Sometimes that means telling people things they don’t want to hear, even though they need to.
And sometimes love gets you betrayal and rejection. Jesus loved the religious leaders of his time but they wanted nothing to do with his love:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. (Matthew 23: 37)
In May of last year my only brother died of his addiction. There were so many times I tried to love him, and so many times I tried to help him. And then there were times when I simply didn’t because it hurt too much and it was just too hard. Streets, jails, and detox centers are full of people like him. When I see his life reflected through the sadness and despair in their eyes, I feel like my guts are being ripped out.
I don’t know what kind of love God is calling you into, but I believe these are who God is calling me to love, and sometimes it’s so painful I can hardly stand it.
It’s like Jesus is saying to me: “I’m breaking your heart for these people the way my heart breaks for humanity that is lost. You will never be fully alive in me until you are completely broken.”
The good news is that Jesus suffered and died on the cross and then He rose again; proving that love is the best of everything. Unfortunately, his death and betrayal is also a reminder that in this life, love is often the worst of everything too.
Some people won’t want your love and some people will hate you for your love; but you will only be half of who you are until your heart breaks for it.
Who is God calling you to love?