Would You Choose to Love Someone Who'd Never Choose You?
If you knew that no matter how long you love someone, (what you do for them, how many times you tell them that you love them,) that they would never choose you and would never love you, would you continue to love them for eternity? Would you want to sacrifice your time and energy for those who would never accept you? Would you continue to pursue someone who you knew, come rain or shine, they would never say yes to you?
These are the questions I have been dancing around this past week. I wonder what triggered these questions? Maybe it is due to God reminding me how his love transcends life and death that I have been asking for a deeper understanding of the love that Christ has for all people? Or maybe it is because I realize that at our worse, God's passionate love for all people knows no bounds causing me to wonder more about this love that I've only gotten a minuscule taste of? It could be due to one of my favorite Scripture being reiterated in my heart lately that has me wanting to dive deeper.
'While we were still helpless [powerless to provide for our salvation], at the right time Christ died [as a substitute] for the ungodly. Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to willingly give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a good man [one who is noble and selfless and worthy] someone might even dare to die. But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. '
- ROMANS 5:6-8 AMP
I have been wondering how we have been missing the most significant phenomenon of the story of our Savior, Jesus Christ: Jesus' love and his undeniable selfless sacrifice goes beyond our messes, our shortcomings, the perception of the world, our judgments of ourselves, and every scar that has made itself visible on us.
See, when we look at the story of Christ, it's evident that this man, who never messed up, is ridiculously, recklessly, and unquestionably in love with every one of us for not what we can do for him, what we look like, what status we carry, how many degrees we have acquired, who we are associated with but for our spirit. When I sit here and think about how this unconditional love that calls me out of my sins continues to chase my soul and direct me to a path that leads to the one my soul loves the most, I realize that this is where we are different from Christ. This differentiation is why we need Christ and his love. (if you're confused, I got you. Stay with me.)
Remember the title of this post?
Would You Choose to Love Someone Who'd Never Choose You?
As people, we do not choose people who don't want us. (I'm talking to those whose righteousness isn’t stopping them from being honest and are being blunt like yours truly.) When we look around, we see people only choosing those who have said yes to them. When it comes to friendships, relationships (such as marriage and dating), and even family dynamics, if someone says no to us, we reject them. Some of us put up a good fight, but we stop eventually because we weren't as crucial to the one we wanted to be accepted by as we hoped. This is our nature.
Jesus is the anomaly of us. He knew while he was hanging on that cross that many will reject his sacrifice and love. Y'all, God knew that not everyone would say yes to Jesus, but he chooses to love regardless of it.
Where am I getting at? Maybe it's not how many ministries you have on your Christian resume. May it's not how many missions trips you've gone on. It's probably not how many Scriptures you can quote. (all of these are great and dandy but...) What's important is that he said yes to us first!
I don't know about everyone out there, but there have been moments when I said no to people because of alignment (hint, post on this is coming). Though, there's a difference between loving people and staying in relationships with people. As children of the Lord, love regardless of rejection is what distinguish us from everyone. When was the last time that you and I said yes to someone, didn't give up and continued to love people regardless of being turned down, even when we are rejected?
If we step away from people due to being rejected, are we any better than before we accepted Christ? Remember what Jesus said?
' “But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you, bless and show kindness to those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one also [simply ignore insignificant insults or losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity]. Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you. Whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you [only] love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend [money] to those from whom you expect to receive [it back], what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to receive back the same amount. But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful. '
- LUKE 6:27-36 AMP
To choose Jesus is to choose love even when it's rejected. Saying, "Hey Jesus, I'm with you," is to say, "even if no person says yes to me Lord, I want to keep pursuing your children with eyes like yours, heart like the one you have, and acceptance that has no prerequisites."
When was the last time we reached out to those who've said no to us?
When was the last time we loved on those that wanted nothing to do with Christ?
When was the last time we intentionally prayed for those that we know have repeatedly said no to us?
Remember what Jesus did for his disciples before he was crucified? He prayed. He knew that they would reject him when the hour was near, but he still loves them. Jesus knew that people would leave, but he chooses to love. Now that is unconditional love. That is the love we have been called to have and give. It's not about who is in my corner, but who's corner am I at?
' “I do not pray for these alone [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for [all] those who [will ever] believe and trust in Me through their message, that they all may be one; just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe [without any doubt] that You sent Me. '
- JOHN 17:20-21 AMP
If you don't know how to, I have always found asking God to be the best way to get there. Whenever I'm having difficulty doing what I know is right, I ask God through prayer and meditation to give me the heart, the eyes, the mind, and the spirit that he has bestowed in my soul so that I can hear and discern and obey what the Holy Spirit is telling me.
Now here's a question for you and me to answer individually:
Would you choose to love someone who'd never choose you?
Until next time…