So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
~John 8:17 NKJV~
Holding onto opinions about a person based on something they did in the past is not walking in love. Yet, there are so many who would rather continue to hate someone based on who they once were than to begin to love them based on what God has done in them. Would you consider yourself to be the kind of person who truly understands what it means to forgive others? What if God’s will for your life put you right in the middle of an issue that was not what others perceived it to be? Do you walk away from it because others don’t understand? Or do you continue to listen for God’s voice in the storm and persevere? This is where I find myself today.
Most of my life has been spent trying to live up to the expectations of others. Only in the last few years have I begun to question why it was always so important that I be the person they want me to be, even if what they want for me seems to conflict with what God wants for me. If I hear from God and He is guiding me, then why should I allow others to deter me from what I know He has asked me or told me to do? Life is confusing enough without having the people who are supposed to love you tell you to ignore what God is saying to you.
When I love someone, I try not to place conditions on that love. Even if you have wronged me, if I ever loved you, chances are that I will still love you even though I may not give you the opportunity to hurt me again. Love means being able to forgive someone who hasn’t yet figured out how to love. It means being able to forgive those who don’t seem interested in learning how to love. It means being able to forgive those who cannot forgive themselves or anyone else. It isn’t about doing what everyone else thinks you should do. Those who claim to love you while at the same time doubting every move you make or giving you grief because they do not understand the path God has you on have no idea what love means.
If I say that I love, that means I understand that people will always fall short of my expectations. The only one who will never disappoint me is God and He is also the only one who will ever love me without the condition that I impress Him or do exactly as He wants me to do. Even when I go in the wrong direction, His love for me is perfect and unfailing. Even though He is fully aware of the person I have been, He still loves me as though He can only see where I am headed as I walk alongside Him.
It is so important not to pass judgment on those who are attempting to emerge from their trials. Only when you are in the process of breaking free from your own strongholds can you fully understand how much He loves you. No matter how much I think I know about your situation or about your capacity to change and grow, I will never know you the way God knows you. I have no justification in directing your life. I can only share with you what God has done for me and hope that you will allow Him to work in you. When I do that, I’m showing the most love I can possibly show.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
~1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NKJV~