Ever have days when you feel downright un-lovable? Let me tell you, I certainly do. On the tired days when life lurches to high speed, I can snap and snarl. I make a snide comment to my husband. I say something gossipy to a girlfriend. I yell at one of my kids. Again.
Then I regret it and wonder how God could love a mess-up like me. God’s love is the first thing we learn when we come to Christ, but even after walking with Jesus 30 years, I still don’t quite get it. On good days, I’m fairly kind and considerate, but on my bad days, I can get mean and snappy. The people closest to me know it, too. Just ask them! I’m a sinner who desperately needs grace.
Fortunately, God’s love has more to do with Him than it has to do with me. He loves us because of who HE is, not because of who we are.
Paul wrote this prayer for us: “Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” (Ephesians 3:17b,18)
How do we grow roots down into God’s love?
“For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:5, NLT)
Years ago I made a conscious decision to intentionally receive God’s love: to remember it and thank Him for it. During my daily reading, I highlight all the love verses I can find, and I hang on to them for dear life. Turning our focus off of our failings and onto God’s love positions us to receive His gifts of mercy and loving kindness. When others fail to love us as we would like, God’s love brings healing to our hearts. We can step into the flow of God’s love anytime by whispering a simple prayer or worship song.
Rest in it
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (John 15:9)
When life looks uncertain you can trust that God loves you. When thoughtless words wound you, remember God loves you. When your husband forgets your anniversary, don’t let go of God’s love. When a friend doesn’t have time for a coffee date, rest in God’s love.
Reflect it to Others
“Be imitators of God as dearly loved children, and live a life of love.” (Ephesians 5:1)
Of course it’s easy to love others on good days, but what about the days when your people are rubbing you the wrong way, and they’re definitely not filling your love tank?
That’s when they’re most in need of grace, and you’re most called to love them. When your people are acting downright unlovable, and you decide to love them anyway, you step into the supernatural flow of God’s love and position yourself to receive more of it.
How about whispering a prayer to thank God for loving you? Who might need unconditional love from you today?