Isn’t it interesting how we tend to go through life thinking everyone around us should treat us great, but we are free to treat other people however we want? While we don’t wear a sign around our neck saying, “Treat me great, but I’ll treat your poorly if you deserve it”, but that’s the message we often give.
That’s the message we give when we expect others to forgive us when we mess up, yet we can’t forgive them. It’s the message we give when we are hurt by other people’s gossip, but 5 minutes later are talking negatively about them. There are so many times in our lives where we demand love from others but aren’t quick to love unconditionally.
You might be able to admit immediately, “Yes I have a problem being kind to other people.”. Or you may think you love other people well. Either way, this is still an area all of us can work on.
For the most part, it’s easy to be kind to someone who treats us well. Anyone can do that! But think back to a time when someone treated you badly. Maybe it was something they said to you or about you that really hurt you. Maybe it was a look they gave you. The way they immediately stopped talking the moment you walked into the room. Maybe it was something they said about someone you love. We all have a time, probably even recently, that we can agree we were hurt by someone else.
Now think about how you handled it. Be honest with yourself and really think about what you did in that situation. Did you say someone negative back? Did you walk away angry, saying something under your breath that you hoped they would hear? Maybe you went to a friend and told him/her what they did. Even if you felt you handled this situation well, how did you deal with it internally. Are you still angry at that person? Can you feel yourself getting upset every time they walk into the same room as you?
Stop and think for a minute of everything Jesus went through in his short time here on this earth. A lot of people didn’t like him. Many people didn’t talk kindly to or about him. And to this day, so many people turn their backs on him.
We can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like to experience all the hatred he did. Yet, he did it all for you and he would do it all over again. He did it well, he never stopped loving those who hurt him, and he had you in mind the entire time.
What can you do to love people like Jesus? That’s how we are going to see change in the world. Loving people and loving them well.
Jesus talks about not judging others in Matthew 7:1-3. He talks about how the same standard which we judge and criticize other people, will be the way we are judged. Anyone can treat someone poorly who they feel deserves it. But not just anyone will look the other way, pray for that person, and love them no matter what.
Be that person! Be the person who loves bigger and loves without limits. The growth we know God wants to do at 418 is only going to come as a result of you loving people well. People will come see what 418 is all about when they feel like you have made an impact in their life. When they know you are the one person who will never speak poorly of them. When they know they can come to you when everyone else around them has failed them.
But it begins with you. Just 1 person being a light to someone else in your community. In your school, your neighborhood, or your family. The world is crying out for a group of people who set the new standard for what real love is. And when they find it, everything will change.
Don’t ever underestimate your impact on just one person. Because one turns into two and two can turn into hundreds. Put aside your judgements and choose today to love others like Jesus loved you, when you didn’t deserve it. (John 13:34) There are thousands of people out there crying out to be loved, but it starts with just one. It starts with you.
Ideas for how to grow your relationship with the Lord
Read the bible verses listed below and ask God to speak to you through them
Ask God to put someone on your heart that you can show love to this week
Pray for someone who has hurt you
Ask God to give you an opportunity to stand up for someone that others are treating poorly
Pray that God touches the heart of someone who needs to be at 418, then invite them to come
Verses to read over and study this week for deeper revelation
Ephesians 4:1-4, 31, 32