Valentine’s’ Day is over for another year, but lessons in love never end. Here’s one I’m pondering these days.
Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (NLT). One version says, “God demonstrated his love…” Either way, God’s love is a verb. He tells us over and over and over about His great love for us, but He doesn’t stop there. He backs up His declaration with practical demonstration.
Over the past few days, a visual in true love has replayed itself in my thoughts. Imagine with me, please, Jesus kneeling before His disciples and washing their dusty feet. He knew His most difficult hour was coming soon and that these guys would abandon Him. But still He demonstrated love. The most amazing part? He treated Judas the same as everyone else even though He knew he would betray Him in a matter of hours.
Jesus is our ultimate example, right? That means we’re called to behave as He did. Even when it hurts. Even when we want to defend ourselves. Even when we desperately want to jab back and give the offender a taste of his own medicine. But because Christ behaved differently, so should we. I like to think of it as choosing the high road.
So when someone hurts us, how can we exemplify Christ to him? How can we wash his feet, so to speak?
We can do something as simple as smile at him whenever we see him in passing. We might say hello. Or send a greeting card with an encouraging word. Depending on the circumstances, we can even offer practical acts of service. The most important thing we can do is pray.
Demonstrating love doesn’t guarantee a change in the offender’s attitude or behavior toward us, but that’s not our motivation. Neither is it our responsibility. Only God can change a heart.
Our single motivation for demonstrating love is to bring a smile to God’s face. That’s what we do when we do what’s right, and doing what’s right is how we can say thanks for His loving us when we least deserved it.
Your thoughts? How have you demonstrated love to someone who’s hurt you?
#bgbg2 #TrueLove #devotions
I have done this many times. I remember one day someone in the building made a comment that hurt just as I was leaving the building. I remember fussing a little as we drove away, but the next day my smile was back when I ran into the lady. After I greeted her she apologized for her attitude the day before. I was so glad I hadn’t reacted in anger. Praying for those in my building helps me to have the right spirit when we meet.
Thanks for stopping by and telling us about your experience, Nancy. I’m glad, too, that you didn’t react in anger. How different this situation would have turned out if you’d blasted her for her hurtful comment. Praying for people who hurt others really does help. So does remembering that “hurting people hurt people.”
I know I am trying to train myself to pray for the Pastor and the People while on my way to church and even while I’m entering the church, I want to be praying for God to show me what he want s me to see and to say what He wants me to say, etc.
This is a helpful comment from Nancy.
Yes, that comment re prayer was helpful. And to pray for God to bless those who hurt us (as opposed to praying for His wrath to rain down on them!).
Grace, I like what you said in reply to Nancy…..that hurting people hurt people. Did you know that the end of 2015 and early ’16 is the first time that that revelation came to me. I didn’t know why so many people, and I am speaking of adults in my realm…..keep hurting others, seemingly, thinking that they have the “right” to do this. I always wondered why they seemed to have to do this, until, after many disastrous episodes where I was hurt so much, I wanted to hurt some of them back……well, then it came to me…I was hurt, and I wanted to hurt back……but God did not want me to respond that way. He wants us to glorify him, and bring honour to his name. So I couldn’t do what they did, and out of this came the revelation that “hurting people hurt others”. Wow; when I realized this, I began to see the picture……..and I began to feel sorry for them, but better than that, I began to ask God to help them, and so I would pray for them. Everything has changed since then, and I’m so glad for my experience (believe it or not). Jesus has given me the victory!!!!!
Yes, that one little phrase helps me keep hurt in perspective. I, too, feel sorry for the one who hurts others, and I, too, pray.
I noticed now that when someone says something that might have hurt me before this, the arrows don’t go in; they can’t penetrate God’s armour (or something). Well, they can’t get to me because the Victorious One stands with me. I noticed that my focus goes to the one saying it and Christ’s compassion goes to them and the negative words drop to the floor. I only see a person talking to me and I simply speak kind words, and pray God’s blessing on them as I leave. It’s so nice.
Wow, Marge. That’s powerful. Thank you for writing this.
Love covers over a multitude of sins!! I really like how you focus on simple ask that we can do. Because in the face of all of those big feelings when we are near those who have hurt us, it can be really hard to know what we can actually do. And understand that I motivation is to touch the heart of God. That is a game changer – right there.
I’m finding that the thought of bringing a smile to Jesus’s face is pretty good motivation to fight the good fight re my attitude towards those who try to hurt me. Sounds like you feel the same way! 🙂
This is the full truth, and nothing but the Truth, so help me God. Earlier in my life, likely about 12 years ago, I was hit with an onslaught of suffering because in several occasions in our comings and goings, I would be told: Your family is welcome, but you aren’t. I have been told to leave meetings, Bible Studies, and one of our daughters told me that I was not coming to her wedding, and she wanted me to have nothing to do with it. I have been told to leave Sunday School programs and church activities, and more. I suffered greatly (in fact, I had to be under doctor’s care for a lengthy period)(and I received extensive counselling), (and mostly I began to really study God’s word)(and the teachings of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland) (these things were over a period of about eight years). Eventually, I realized that I had a vulnerable “little girl” living inside of me, and thus, realized finally why I received so much abuse as a child; mostly rejection, but some bullying that I didn’t know how to get out of(until I told my brother). Eventually I realized that I did not have to listen to the lies of the father of lies, even Satan himself. Eventually, I realized that those who kicked my out of church activities must have experienced similar treatment sometime in their lives, and I didn’t need to listen to that either, but I didn’t know that then, as I was still that hurt little girl (from my childhood). Today, I stand, and the Conquering King Jesus stands with me. I have only mentioned a few things, but I am most happy to mention that “We have an advocate, conquering king, counsellor, and mentor, and lover of our souls; Saviour, Healer, Redeemer and Friend………and much more. It was through my counsel with Grace in late December2015, where a truth she gave me took hold and did its work within my soul and spirit that the whole onslaught of things truly left me and I am changed, healed, recovered, restored, andFREE indeed. Since God then filled me with an awesome love for all of those who hurt me so deeply, I am now Free to show his love in return. Yes, I’m beginning to see how love really does cover a multitude of sins. It does. Hallalujah.
Thanks for sharing, Marge. Jesus is indeed masterful at healing the broken places in our lives because He loves us so very much. Imagine a love so measureless that it took Him to the cross on our behalf. Thanks to that love, He forgives us freely. If we call ourselves His followers, how can we do anything less for others? Amen, Marge. May He continue to show you more and more of His unfailing love toward you.
Thank you for putting into words what I know my spirit has been trying to get me to understand while I show love to my wife ( separated) during the days she’s around. It’s been hard but I’m at that point where instead of asking God to repay the man that stole her heart from me to rather have mercy on him and for God to provide ways for him to be saved and blessed. I have much to learn and this is a hard and unpopular path I’m on, I can only ask for prayers to fight the good fight of this faith. Carry on, bear the burdens of others and live a life of peace, faith and love. I needed this today especially. Thanks again!
Hi Joshua. Wow — that is a hard path. May God give you the continual ability to see this man through His eyes. May He give you strength and wisdom, patience, perseverance, and everything needed to do what’s right. Living to bring a smile to the Lord’s face is most important.