"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy or boast, it is not proud. It is not rude or self-seeking. It keeps no record of wrong. It does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. Love never fails." We have likely heard this scripture from 1 Corinthians 13 in the Bible read at many weddings and used in the context of a man and woman; husband and wife. However, this definition of love, unconditional love, should be applied to all our relationships and encounters with others. We must love our neighbors, acquaintances, friends, family and even strangers the way God loves us and according to His layout of what love really is.
I was recently hurt by a very close friend. My initial feeling was to cut her off and build a wall around my heart to protect myself from being hurt again by her and anyone else. However, I could feel God pressing on my heart to forgive and love her despite our current situation. I cannot say that it is easy to just turn the other cheek and let things go so easily but as a child of God, I know that I must be obedient to my Father which in turn will ultimately bless me. In forgiving her, letting go of the hurt and loving her as God loves me, I am actually taking control of the situation, turning it over to God and not allowing the situation to control or dictate my feelings. (…"For you are a slave to whatever controls you." 2 Peter 2:19; NLT)
As I think about the way God defines and demonstrates His love. I am humbled to realize that even through my flaws and imperfections God still loves me; so who am I not to demonstrate that same love toward someone else. Love is the key ingredient to knock down barriers of hurt, bitterness, frustration, anger and pain. True love and compassion can lead you to forgive and even pray for those who may have caused you deep pain, whether known or unknown. I seek God daily in prayer to help me in this area of my life and I encourage you to do the same.
"For anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:8.
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:12-13
-Kyana M. Idi