As I sit and ponder what life for me has been like over the last few months, there have been plenty of moments of standing in the sun, making memories, and enjoying life, but at other times it has felt like I am sitting criss cross in the eye of a hurricane watching the world around me fall away. I have fought battles I never thought I would have to fight, I have had people walk in and out of my life, and found gaping wounds that I thought had finally become a scar, but as South Africa is right around the corner God is working on me and still preparing my heart. If He has showed me anything at all, He has made me realize that I am far from perfect and He is all that matters in my life. Honestly, He is all that I need.
As a girl who strives for perfectionism, I set very high standards for myself and can put pressure where pressure isn’t due. Moreover, as I am realizing that I will never be able to successfully reach these impossible standards, in the same sense I have seen where I put these standards onto others. It makes it easier to push them away when they do not live up to your expectations or when they disappoint you.
But who are we to be that judge. There is only one man that have ever walked this earth who was perfect and that man’s name is Jesus. He was the one to heal the sick, make the lame walk again, and most of all show a type of grace and forgiveness that no other person on this earth was capable of showing.
In life, it can be easy to love someone according to a set of standards. It can become the way we not only judge, but a way to find a person’s strengths and weaknesses. To determine where they fall short and compare it to ourselves. But that’s not love at all.
Real love is when Jesus looked at the adulterous woman who was about to be killed for her actions and showed mercy and told her to go sin no more (John 8:1-11). He didn’t condone her sin, but he challenged her to a life worth something more and gave her the freedom from her sin to do so. It’s the kind of love that can help recognize one’s sin and help them to grow from it instead of judging them and making them feel less than because of it.
In God’s eyes, all sin is equal and no one man is greater than the other as we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We are human. We trip up. We make mistakes. Sometimes we even hit rock bottom time after time because we don’t know anything different than the life that once was.
…But when we let love in. The kind of love that meets you with grace and forgiveness. The kind of love that does not judge, is slow to anger, and patient with one another. A love that does not boast or envy, but is the kind of love that is sacrificial and put others before themselves and more importantly the kind of love that can bring peace into a person’s life (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). It’s a love like Jesus. The one who despite our differences and despite our faults chose to love us still. The one who left the 99 to go chase after the one, time and time again, why? Just because He loved us that much. No explanation, no special reason. Just because when it came down to it, in His eyes, we were worth the sacrifice.
How often do we show that kind of love to those around us? The kind of love that is genuine and no matter what happens, it doesn’t give up because of how God didn’t give up on us. How often do we actually take the time to pray for one another even when that person has hurt us so deeply?
I am not saying that this type of love is easy and God knows I have learned this lesson the hard way. I know that I have hurt and judged people according to a standard they were never going to reach and I have pushed people away…Lord knows I am human too and I fall short daily…but I am saying that putting this type of love into practice is worth it.
You are worth it.