12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. - Colossians 3:12-14
Love is demonstrated most when the person who has the message absorbs the difficulty in the relationship with a person who doesn't have the message. This statement shifted my perspective of those difficult relationships in my life. When we are in relationship with unbelievers, or even believers who have not yet grown in areas that we have grown, if we are the ones who are in the more mature positioned in our understanding of the message, then we are to absorb the difficulty. We are to resolve the conflict, forgive the offense, take the first step, send the first text. We are the ones who should make the move when there is relationship strife, even when we are the ones who have been wronged ~ especially when we are the ones who have been wronged.
I have such a tendency to want to push my point when I've been wronged, but the truth is that it is rare someone comes to an understanding of anything at the end of a shaking finger. Love is demonstrated when we let it go. We can be the ones who absorb the tension and the difficulty. We can be the ones who love unconditionally, even when the other person makes choices or responds in ways that are unloving. We must recognize the importance of our response in these relationships.
Our response - whatever it is - will lead them in their understanding of the message. If our response is unloving, and we are claiming to represent Christ, we teach them that our God loves conditionally. If our response is loving, then we teach them about the steadfast, unconditional love of God.
My deepest desire is that all will come to know and understand the love of God, even those people with whom I struggle to be in relation. Thinking about where I need to absorb some of the difficulty in my relationships this morning - thankful that my God continues to love me unconditionally, even when I don't represent Him well...and that He continues to chasten and grow me where I need to be transformed.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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