“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”—John 13:34
When I am hurt, loving is the last thing I want to do. My mind has a tendency to stay stuck on the hurt. It replays over and over in my head giving birth to resentment, bitterness, disdain, contempt---every other emotion except for love.
But, it seems that love is pretty important to Jesus. I cannot count the number of times he highlights love as the greatest behavior or form of worship we can display. Still, while love is an action word, it must be developed from within, for as Christ taught “…out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
I wish that I could say that my immediate response to being hurt is to brush it off my soldiers, turn to God, and ask him to help heal my heart so that I can show His love to others. Unfortunately, I have been known to withdraw from God as a response to my pain and as a result, I let the thinking of the old nature take lead: resentment, bitterness, and anger--- all the things I’m called to do away with (Ephesians 4:31). I am currently in a season of learning to accept and extend forgiveness and learning to love others who have hurt me directly or indirectly. What I realize about love is that it is a much better feeling to harbor than anger. In addition, when I remember how awesome it feels to be loved by God I truly want to share that love with others. So I’m praying for myself. I’m praying that I can obey the commandment to love others, just as Christ Jesus has loved me (unconditionally, freely, passionately) even in the midst of painful situations.