Love to the End

Most people are afraid of getting taken advantage of or getting their heart broken again. So what happens? They fear giving one hundred percent again. I am one of them. I’m that imperfect person who loves to demand perfection from other imperfect people without expecting it from myself. Honestly, I can be a very stingy person in tempting situations. I could try to justify my problem but I will never conquer what I choose not to confront. Sometimes, I find myself stingy with my money, my time, and my love towards others thinking the more I care, the more I lose. I was wrong! Firstly, nothing belongs to me (1 Cor 10:26). I came into this world naked and I will leave naked (Job 1:21). Everything God has blessed me with are meant to be borrowed and shared while I’m here because the truth is, I’m only passing through for a moment to make someone else’s life better (Matt 5:16). The fear of losing what I have, getting hurt for caring so much, or wasting time on those who may abuse it all anyway only helped me to lose sight of the greater picture of my existence. Surely, people will frustrate us, disappoint us, fail us, hurt us, offend us, betray us, take advantage of us, and make us upset, which makes it very easy to put conditions on our love for them. And when takers or free loaders fail to put limits on how much they take, it is easy to want to put limits on how much we give. One day I asked myself - What if God decided to look down on me and my family and said, “Nope, I’m not loving you today until you do something to earn it, or until I figure out if you’re worth my love, mercy, goodness, and time”? God freely gives to us without limitations and expectations every day (2 Cor 9:9-11), and we should freely and willingly give to others just as we received freely from God. Oftentimes, we have to be the bigger person who reaches out to others who may take advantage of us or hurt us, without limitations or expectations - because a smaller, weaker, or unloving person won’t do it first.

I am still exercising my heart to love others whether they change and appreciate me, or not. And as I grow in Christ I recognize and understand that there is no better way to overcome evil than by doing well (Romans 12:21). I have come to the realization that those who are indelicate are those who need love the most. Truthfully, hurt people hurt people and they are the ones who need love most. I'm deciding to give love to people to the end even if I can't expect to get true love back from them from the beginning. Why? Because God is love (1 John 4:8), love comes from God (1 John 4:7), and He commands us to love others (Mark 12:29-31). God first loved me (1 John 4:19) when I didn’t know how to love myself and with this empowering love that God has given me I will be enabled to finish strong to the end (1 John 4:4). When the character of God - (Galatians 5:22-23) is developed in you through a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, you will be empowered to love to the end like Jesus did (John 13:1). We would be selfish people to keep a love to ourselves, which God freely gave (John 3:16-17) for us to do the same. Who are we to restrain a seed God blessed us with, which He expects to die so that it may multiply (Gen 1:28) (John 12:24)? We do not live to honor our personal opinions or preferences, we live to honor, glorify, and please God (1 Cor 8:5-6). We all hold the power to block any harvest when we refuse to sow a seed. In other words, true joy flows out of love (God) even in the face of trials. Where there is no love (God), there is no joy (psalm 16:11). If you know love (God), you will know joy and much more.

Don't allow your expectations of others to limit your perspective of life and make you become only what you get, and impede how much you give. Holding on to expectations opens doors to disappointment, frustration, resentment, discouragement, anger, and bitterness which only leaves room to produce bad fruit. "So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire (Matthew 7:19) (NLT)." Many times I hear the phrase: God forgives, I don’t. But who’s really losing; a person who loves and forgives or a person who refuses to forgive and holds on to negativity? I learned that I cannot carry peace and joy if my arms are always full with anger, hate, bitterness, and an unforgiving spirit. Carrying these emotions because of what someone did or did not do are like embracing a poison that could never help any person to produce an abundant lifestyle. But when you let go of expectations, your mind and spirit is free despite the adversity you may face. God is our peace (Ephesians 2:14). "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7) (NLT)." Take a moment…breath. Understand that there is always room for improvement and God wants to empower you, but He needs your permission to rule in your life; to develop your character through the fruit of the spirit and transform you into a new person by changing the way you think (Romans 12:2). Allow your heart to be led by the spirit of God. Make the choice to surrender unto God’s ways and commit to keeping your mind on Him; emulating the nature of the Holy Spirit to keep your sinful nature, personality, emotions, and conflicting desires in check. Being ruled by anything other than the spirit of God isn't healthy (John 6:63) (John 15:4-7).

 

Scripture: “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of His great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in Him and receive eternal life. (1 Tim 1:15-16).”