God has a beautiful way of teaching us. All it usually takes is for you to listen a little longer and probably look for lessons where you do not expect to find any. I happened to chance upon a certain scripture that got my mind reeling to a direction I did not see coming.
The Bible says in Romans 8:31-39
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. 35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake, we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
While I read this, a number of things crossed my mind. The question is; when you see people while you go about with your daily life, have you asked yourself just how you deal with them? Have you perhaps asked yourself how you make them feel? Now, you are going to bear with me because I am going to address this on a personal level. I am not going to look at how “they” treat you or make you feel. This is because I am looking at this scripture through the very eyes of God and boy!
You see, the Bible has told us that no angels, demons, fears for today, worries for tomorrow etc can separate us from the love of God. And I am thinking, okay!
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
God intended to make us into His very own image. What a beautiful honor! That practically means we are just like Him in each and every way. We think, talk, act just as He does. And because we are like Him, people around us can easily tell when we are being like him and when we are being different from him. I have noticed that every little time I spend with God in communion, he makes me feel a certain way. Usually, my heart will want to skip like a gazelle in a field full of grass. He makes me feel like a fat kid that has just been served cake. He makes me want to dance a certain way. All because He has made it clear to me that I do not have to behave or act a certain way with Him. As far as He is concerned, I am his baby girl and He is my daddy. We are best friends and we talk just about anything.
So while I was thinking about this, God asked me a question. “Do other people feel the same way with you, like you feel while with me?” While I did not pay attention to it at first, I found myself deep in thought later. I was at a place in my life where I felt like people have to behave a certain way with me. They had to treat, talk and address me address me in the way that I wanted. If they did not do so, I would make them feel like they could not be in my circles! And because of that, I ended up missing out on having fellowship with them and probably winning souls to the Lord. The devil is a liar!
Child of God, if God is not having you try so hard to keep your relationship with Him, why do you make others feel like they must be a certain way to be in your circles? I have seen people who assume that because so and so drinks beer, goes to a dance club, works at a certain place they cannot be seen relating with them They think they cannot relate with people who come from a certain walk of life. In other words, they are too good for life. But the Bible says in Luke 9:7-7 5
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
It is a sad truth that we have Christians who think that just because I advised so and so to stop doing something and they are still doing it then I am done with them. This is the exact way the devil wants us to be with people. We push them away. Pushing people away takes many forms. It might be verbal or physical or aggressive, or, just as destructively, shutting them out emotionally.
What happened to believing in people? The exact way you want God to be patient with you as you go about life is the same way He expects you to extend grace to others. So what if you told her not to take a certain decision and she did? If you walk away from her what does it benefit you or the kingdom of God? Child of God, you do not meet people for naught. Every person you meet has a reason as to why they have crossed your path. They may be dirty, talkative, clingy and all that but the reason God has allowed them your way is simply that he is confident you can do something in their lives. If you meet someone and notice that they have a flaw, it is most likely because God wants you to love them out of it and not become a Judge Judy.
You see, love never fails. So, if you employ love in everything you do, you will not fail. In other words, you will always win. It’s the power of Love. Coolest thing about love winning is that it usually wins for both sides. Glory to God! Jesus commanded us to love one another. But he takes it one step further than just telling us to love one another. He says this:
My command is this: love each other AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for his friends. – John 15:12-13
Jesus says to love like He loved. Now, while that certainly clears things up for us, it also makes things difficult for us. Jesus’ love was serious business. His love was the lay-down-your-life kind of love. Jesus really loved people. He didn’t pretend to love people to get brownie points or to elevate Himself. He simply loved people. So many times throughout the gospels we see Jesus being moved with compassion like we shall see in the case of Lazarus.
The Bible says in Luke 9:8-10
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
You do not have to play the Tit-For-Tat game. Jesus chose to love Lazarus when nobody else could. He chose to go and sit in his corruption infested house. And at the end of the day, he won Lazarus to the kingdom. Child of God, your life is not about you. You have been put on the earth to live for the people you were called for. You were not called for your comfort man of God. You were not called for your comfort woman of God. That very person that you cannot stand is the very person that needs you most. They may proud and haughty but the mere fact that it riles you up should be enough reason to give you the assurance that God has given you the grace to see them into the kingdom.
In the Bible, Jesus called the Pharisees whitewashed grave tombs, yet he spoke gently to the woman at the well who had had five husbands and was presently living in sin. Jesus turned over the money-changers tables in the temple and used a whip of cords to drive them out, yet he forgave the thief on the cross and ate dinner with a crooked tax collector. Jesus called the religious leaders children of the devil, but received the little children and said, “of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And in the book of Revelation, in the letters written to the churches there, He calls some wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, but then gently urges them to answer the door of their heart, of which He has been knocking. Our God may be ‘gentle and lowly in heart,’ but He is also a ‘consuming fire.’ Those who have hardened their hearts should fear for His wrath is great, but those who are broken before Him should be reassured – He will not leave them, nor forsake them.
That means that as a child of God, you are not called to make people feel like they must first do something to be accepted into your life. If it is you that always pays the bill, calls, texts, goes the extra mile, as long as you are able to do so just do it. While you do so, God will deal with that person. If we want to love others or receive love at all, we must open up ourselves to being okay with getting hurt. This is where I got it wrong for so long. I shut people out in response to hurt I had experienced for so long. But, God created us to love lavishly in order to better know him. Anything else is less than what he has in store for you.
We are called to love people regardless of their flaws. We are called to believe in them. We are called into friendships, and into relationships, because every single person can teach us about the character of God, regardless of their flaws. And, consequently, when we get hurt, our relationships remind us there is only one perfect love, and we are called to seek after him above all other loves. See, God’s love will never fail us- unlike our friends, family, or spouses. God’s love is perfect. This is why the Bible says that “perfect love casts out all fear.” No other love can do this. But, when we are in relationship with God, knowing that perfect love personally, then we can love others fearlessly.
We can love others because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19. We cannot fully love ourselves or others if we do not first recognize how much God loves us. Literally to death and that’s a big deal. You’re deeply loved. Walk in that truth. Be fearless in your love of people. Pursue people wholeheartedly. Reflect the love of God that is fearless and bold, and find your identity in that perfect love. Not in anyone else’s. I can assure you, it’s not as good and that kind of love is only temporary.
When we walk in the spirit, the love of God is there for us to walk in, as well. When we walk in it we will always win. We will win for ourselves. We will win for others. We will win for Jesus.
If you are perhaps in the very category of those that feel they have been pushed away by loved ones, allow me to say this to you;
I don’t care who you are or what mistakes you have made in life. You are worth so much more than the things you have done. You are highly prized and loved. You are an amazing person. You are beautiful. You are handsome. You are worth love. Do not allow let the ugliness of the words that have been spoken to or about you darken your heart or conquer your self-esteem. I love you and I believe in You. You are worthy of being treated kindly.