By Samuel Magondu
Some time ago, I saw on Facebook this quote: “Jesus loves you. I don’t know why.” It was meant to be a joke. And back then I found it funny. That’s because I didn’t understand God’s love.
For truth be told, not many of us are truly loveable. I’m sure all of us have some people whom we find it hard to get along. People who rub us off the wrong way, not once or twice but more often than is normal. And we try to counsel ourselves: It’s okay. We are human. It’s just the way it is. The important thing is we choose to love them regardless, however hard it may be.
That however is easier said than done. The conversations I had with my friends on this matter would go something like this:
Me: You should love them nonetheless.
Friend: I know. But you don’t know how they are. You should have seen what they did.
I have myself had a few of the same conversation in my head. If only others understood the extent of the offense, they would understand our actions. Most probably we think we are the exception to God’s command to love. But we are no exception. If we think that’s a bad deal, consider Jesus. He died for the guys who crucified Him. He had a good “but” and He still chose love. His supply for love exceeded where demand was little.
But it’s no easy task trying to relate with Jesus’ actions. Why love those who will trample on us? The task of choosing love proves too demanding. What is being asked of us, as Christians, sometimes seems more than we can handle. But then I think of these two verses:
Romans 5:8 — “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (niv).
1 John 4:19 — “We love Him because He loved us first” (niv).
God loved us even before we knew Him. He even took a step further and had Christ died for our sins. All these while we didn’t care. Now that is love. He loved us even before we recognized Him. His supply of love was in abundance even before any demand was made on us.
So with that knowledge, we go out and spread His love. No demand is too much when we have an infinite supply of God’s love. We go and love the unlovable. We go and love those who have been rejected. We go and love the helpless. We love those who have nothing to offer us in return. We love those who keep giving us reasons not to. We love because He first loved us.
Leaning on our own strength is bound to fail. As human beings, we could only love for a little while. Loving by our own effort, we are merely manufacturing emotions and pretty soon, we are writing checks the heart can’t cash.
Instead, let us pray that we will see others as Christ sees them—not as an aggregate of past failures, but as God’s precious creation who needs to know His love that surpasses understanding. Let us be channels of God’s love, allowing Him to work in and through us. Then we will find that we are doing much more than choosing love. We will discover joy in the most awkward situations, and enjoy peace in the most volatile situations.
I’ve always wondered how Paul could come up with such profound words as those found in 1 Corinthians 13 and Ephesians 3:14-19. God has probably helped him figured it out. Love is possible because God is love and He lives in us. He is our eternal supply of love.