On our last Sunday lesson of 2015, God placed a sentence in my heart:
Love is a commandment.
Which means; we don’t love based on our preferences, but because He loved us first. He showered us with grace and mercy when we don’t deserve it, so to be more Christ-like is to do the same. And that’s the attitude that I want to bring with me as I step into 2016.
I reflected on the year, and I think that I really have grown to be more selective with who I give my love to. For me, it’s the hardest when I am forgotten or excluded. Because I have always loved so recklessly, I tend to impose the same unrealistic expectations on those around me – even new people that I meet. As social creatures, it’s natural to desire reciprocation. It then becomes tempting to be petty and ration my love.
And I think that was a good thing in many people’s eyes; as I aged, I find that many of my friends have done the same. Love became a transaction; we invest only in those whom we deem worthy, not those who have wronged us.
But none of us was worthy when God sent his Son to this earth to die for our sins – an ultimate gesture of His love. In the last week, God gave me a glimpse of the relief and lightness that would come if only I responded with love instead of animosity.
I want to seek His Kingdom above everything, especially man’s approval. I hope that in 2016 and beyond, I will love and serve not because I want to earn the recognition for myself but because it is pleasing in God’s eyes. Because His promises are real, and He is never late, never early but always on divine time. And I have seen him turn my 1% around. He has spoken many great things to come in the new year, and things might not be looking up – even impossible – right now, but I trust in His sovereignty. I choose to praise and worship, and can only pray for wisdom to discern His will from my own desires.
So respond with love;
Love, not only the ones you deem worthy
Love, even those who have forgotten or wronged you
Love, not only as an act of reciprocation
Love, as the first step to everything
Love, not only when it is easy
Love, especially in times when it is the hardest to show grace
And finally Love, because we really shouldn’t be hoarding the one thing we can give infinitely