“A man who loves others based solely on how they make him feel, or what they do for him, is really not loving others at all – but loving only himself.” — Criss Jami
Looking at their track records, Jesus really didn’t do such a great job of picking his followers . . . or did he?
Peter (The Rock) would disown him; Thomas would doubt him; the brothers James and John would bicker about who would be the greatest and who deserved the honor of sitting at Jesus’ right hand in the coming kingdom; and Judas would betray him.
Do you think Jesus was a bad judge of character and picked duds by mistake? The Scriptures say that Jesus “knew what was in a man.” In the Hebrew understanding of the word knew, it means he could see inside everyone and know the blackness of each one’s heart.
Next question. With this in mind, is there any evidence of Jesus treating any of the disciples differently because of their particular evil predisposition? Nope. He loved each one of them, right down to washing their feet (This was just before Judas went out to betray him).
Throughout Jesus’ life, and despite the wickedness with which men (even his friends) treated him, he never grew cynical. He kept on loving them. Despite intimate knowledge of their shortcomings, that would ultimately prove fatal to him. Ouch. The Scriptures say he “trusted no one,” yet he continued to give his followers unconditional love.
And he left that as our example: “Love one another, as I have loved you.”
So there we have it. Protect your heart from being callous. Continue to love, even when someone you care about hurts you deeply. Find someone whom no one else seems to love, especially if they’re unpopular, unsuccessful, unattractive, strange, etc.
Remember that people WILL hurt you. But allow Jesus’ grace to shield you from letting it harden you. Ask for it when you feel walls of self-protection rising up. Be on guard for them.
Then, when we’re all together again in heaven, he’ll say to us:
“Come, O blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” (Matthew 25: 34-46)
Who in your orbit have you shut out because of hurt?
What qualities in others do you find hardest to love?
What defense mechanisms do you use to protect yourself from those who have hurt you?
© Revolworks 2018