“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails…13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.“ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8;13
Put your hands up if you’ve ever been hurt, betrayed, deceived, lied to, afflicted, insulted and undermined…not once, not twice, but severally…by the same person.
You’ve grown tough skinned and skeptical and to be honest you find it hard to trust them so much that when they say “good morning”, you check the time or out your window to ascertain the truth.
Such constant betrayal has the tendency to cause you to close off-after all it is more logical to take care of ‘you’ first. If I don’t, that person surely won’t as they have clearly demonstrated in their selfish ways. But that is the easy yet miserable way out. God challenges us at each moment, with each betrayal to strive for the best way out. Love.
I embrace you because I know I would not have been conceived before the foundations of this earth nor conceived into manifestation on this earth had it not been for you. I know that I wouldn’t have the boldness to be who I was created to be nor leave who I once was had it not been for you.
But I say, it’s not so easy when you’re struggling to love a person who has abused all you could give.
I have truly struggled with this.
There was a relation with whom I had run out of everything with especially patience. Without knowing, I had gotten to the place where hearing their name had my guard up and I didn’t want to reach out because I had done so severally and it was all abused and taken for granted. I felt they should know and do better. It was easier to build a wall-fortress-to protect myself. Not play that kind of game with them anymore nor give them the opportunity to hurt me like they did but God reminded me of the ‘So What’ kind of love. That they hurt me and so what. That is no excuse for me to pull my love away. If I live for Him, I have no business pulling my love away. Don’t get Him wrong, guard your heart, but doing so shouldn’t restrict the flow of love, let it restrict the flow of contempt. With this in mind, I could only but gradually pursue with both trying to love me and trying to love them. God reminded me that had He pulled back each time He was betrayed, His love would not have reached me. I buckled. So confused yet so overwhelmed at this expression called love which fights against all odds to preserver for a better relationship each time. A love so pure that I wasn’t a compatible vessel to carry, yet His Grace qualifies me to be a channel of it.
Love is a verb and not a noun. God shows that in all He is and does.
It seems like when we break His heart is when the love of God keeps fighting for us. Can you imagine? That when you are betrayed, you rather pursue and continuously shower the person with love and attention, forgiveness without any holding back and readiness to rebuild. What a world that would be. So what if I keep giving to this relation and they keep taking without acknowledging. So what if they feel entitled? So what if they expect me to always give? It’s not up to me to pull my love away else what do I portray? Being ‘dead to the flesh’ as a child of God means that in such situations I become dead to my emotions and subject myself to The Spirit of God. Thus I overlook it all and keep doing what Daddy does-keep doing what He has asked me-love. Then I realise that it becomes easier to overlook and do. To set me aside and love on Him by loving on them. And then each time I disregard my flesh and give once more, I feel at peace and very glad I obeyed. It gets easier, until you do before you even analyse your emotions. This is where God wants us. You become as He is: love. He knows so well how it feels to be abused, overlooked, insulted etc-we do it each day. When we choose the tv, book, phone call and procrastinate when it comes to Him. When we don’t appreciate the breath we have, yet we request for more. When we fail to see Him in everything, yet He happily gives us a new day again-though we do not deserve it. He happily keeps us in His peace, though unrequested. He provides that miracle, the moment it leaves your lips. So He knows. And He says ‘So What?’
Then I heard ‘Reckless love’ and it encapsulated absolutely everything I felt about the love of God.
Cory Asbury shares his thoughts on God’s love in respect to this song:
“God isn’t reckless, but the way He loves is quite so. He is utterly unconcerned about the consequences of His actions with regard to His own safety, comfort and well being. His love isn’t crafty or slick, it’s not cunning or shrewd…it’s quite childlike…sometimes downright ridiculous. His love bankrupted heaven, for you, for me. His love isn’t selfish or self-serving…there’s no ‘plan b’ with the love of God. He give His heart so completely…that if refused we would think it irreparably broken yet He gives Himself away and again and again“.
I once read an advice from a grandma that if you can’t replace the word ‘love’ in the scripture shared above with your loved one’s name, then they are not love. I want to be love. The epitome of love. I want to be the extension of God’s love on this earth. As hard as this may be, He reminds me that it’s not by my effort, but by His Grace which He so freely gives me. And to have such a desire is to be halfway there.
I would like to invite you to be halfway there with me.
I know for sure I couldn’t earn this kind of love nor do I deserve it. I couldn’t even pay for it if I tried. But I am so grateful to be at the receiving end of it and I pray to be a consistent distributor of it also.
Let us recklessly love our God with all our heart, souls and mind. And let us recklessly love our neighbour as ourselves. No matter what. Remember, they hurt you and ‘so what’?
Thanks for reading.