Relationships are hard. Husband and wife, child and parent, sister and brother, believer and unbeliever, just being friends with someone can really be challenging sometimes. You open your heart to them and that gives them ample opportunity to squash your happy. They are close enough to you to be able to make you hurt either knowingly or unknowingly. We were never called to be happy. We have been called to love.
In the book of John chapter 13, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. That was such a precious and humble act of love. In verses 34-35 He said ” a new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples. If you love one another.’ Who couldn’t love Jesus tough right? But love everyone how Jesus loved me? Oh good golly. This person hurt my feelings, and this one stole from my soul!! How am I supposed to love them as Jesus commanded?
To love my friend is not a happy feel good emotion like the television writers would have you to believe. No, to love is a choice. It is a daily moment by moment choice. A daily decision to care about another person without thought for what we might get out of it. It is unselfish and often extremely difficult when unreciprocated.
Jesus understood that this was the love He was asking His disciples to share with the world. He knew it would be hard when the love felt one sided. He was about to experience that hurt and betrayal from those He loved the most. Before that night was over, they would all abandon Him, each to a different level of betrayal. Yet through the pain, darkness and desertion HE LOVED them. He asks us to do the same.
Pray for those who mistreat you. Bless those who speak ill of you. Love is an action. Love is a choice. I won’t lie, loving isn’t ever going to always easy. Heck no! Love even when it is exceptionally difficult and you feel your heart is going to violently perish. Think of all that Jesus has loved you through. Love is walking through a battlefield. Love is more than our society gives admission to. It is choosing to walk through fire. It is falling down and getting back up again. It is holding someone you may or may not even know, when they can’t take another step. Its dragging your spouse, your kid, your parent, your friend sometimes out of the inferno knowing that they will never acknowledge how much you have done to bring them to safety. Love does not search for accolades. It loves like King Jesus. True love is commanded by God.