Alexander Haddaway once wrote, “What is love, baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more.”
People have an idea that love involves no pain…maybe puppies, rainbows, and fluffy things…an endless honeymoon with no mistakes and complete happiness. Not quite. Love is not real unless it knows how to handle pain. John wrote in his Gospel, “My (Jesus) commandment is this – that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this – that one lays down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12, 13 New English Translation) Jesus’ love compelled Him to the cross. Love is not really love without sacrifice. We are told…strike that…we are commanded to have this kind of sacrificial love. When love is practiced we open ourselves up to a world of pain. People will hurt us, disappoint us, and let us down. But is that pain a bad thing?
Imagine you could feel no pain and you were to grab a kettle of boiling water. Just because you cannot feel pain does not mean you cannot be hurt. The kettle would burn the skin potentially causing lifelong damage. Pain, while not enjoyed, has its benefits. Pain in a relationship allows us to know that we experience actual love!
When mankind first sinned it grieved the heart of God. Our choices hurt Him. He set about a plan, one forged in love, to bring us back into a relationship with Him. We all know “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 New English Translation) God’s love drove Him to send Jesus, His Son to us…the very ones who broke God’s heart in the first place. Why do this?
Because He loves us! To show it, Jesus lays down His life for us. He made it all about restoring us to God the Father. Jesus, lived a very simple life, told us about God the Father and His Kingdom, told us we could find forgiveness. Jesus was then humiliated and murdered (sacrificed) on a cross as a guilty man even though He was without any error or sin. On the third day He rose from the dead. His life, death, and resurrection left us with a message of love. We are called to love one another. Do you?
It won’t be easy, but it is worth it. Loving our kids, spouse, friends and family may not always be easy, but in the end it is so worth it! As God looks down on us, I am sure we test His love, maybe even make it difficult, but He never changes. When Christ returns, we will know that love has been worth it!
all about Christ,