John 4:19 – We love because He first loved us.
College has buckled my relationship with Jesus on the seat of some crazy rollercoaster of growth & trust. For the first time, being a Christian makes me an outsider. For the first time, I am the minority. I am constantly questioned. Choosing a Jesus-centered life is not “what college is about.” Why, who would ever want to spend Sunday in church when they could spend it in bed trying to remember Saturday night? For the first time, I am the elephant in the room, and wearing the cross isn’t what is comfortable any more.
I love it.
I love that for the first time, I am truly having to figure out what Jesus means to me.
When my friends who are non-believers ask me about my faith, it hits me that I don’t have my identity in my faith nearly as figured out as I thought.
This seems like a never ending circle where I try to explain the concept of “Godly love,” but on the outside looking in, I’ve realized that might not make sense to a whole lot of people. Because I think most Christians (myself included) don’t even know half the time what it really means to love the way Jesus does.
“Love” always seemed like such an obvious answer to me. After all, it’s the cornerstone & foundation of everything I stand for as a follower of Jesus. But, I’ve found that when I try to define what I believe it means to love like Jesus – sometimes, to be honest, I find myself stumped.
so, “What does it mean to love people the way Jesus does?”
God’s love for us is sacrificial, selfless. The cross tells us we are chosen, and crazier, pursued.
I suppose that’s what it means to love people the way Jesus does. Purely, authentically. To pursue genuine relationships without the idea of personal gain. Relationships that don’t say, “What can this person do for me?” but rather, “how can I show Jesus to this person?” To love people by showing them the joy and grace that is Jesus Christ.
Loving people like Jesus means loving them through their brokenness, their flaws. It means humbling yourself to understand that because we all share the same creator & savior, we are all worthy of the same grace and love despite who we are and where we’ve been.
Godly love is sacrificial. It’s crazy to think Jesus got down in the dirt and feet of sinners. People who could do nothing for him. And what a crazy gift it is that we get the opportunity to live out that love in every moment. Genuine love, Jesus shows us, is messy. People will never be perfect, choose to love them anyway.