"Love (God’s love in us)...is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]."
1 Corinthians 13:5c (AMPC)
The love of God is sometimes challenging for the heart to understand. When we’ve experienced a deep hurt or suffered a gaping wound, it can be difficult for the heart to contemplate or even imagine a demonstration of God’s love. When we believe we’ve been taken advantage of, falsely accused, wrongfully persecuted or afflicted, and it seems that an offering of love would be unreasonably or unjustifiably given, it is then that the extension of God’s love becomes more complicated for us to fathom.
But to what extent has God called us to love? For some of us, the degree of our love is too easily called into question. We stop loving the moment we deem someone to be unlovable, at the very moment they begin to act outside of the character of God (Matthew 5:46). And yet, God’s character is love, and this love, pure and unrestrained, eternal and holy, remains unquestionable. It is all by itself unreserved and complete and is dispensed without respect to any artificial or man-made condition. It is extended to the just and the unjust, the deserving and the underserving, to those who do good and to those who do evil (Matthew 5:45). It is the single most influential force in the heavens and in all the earth. It is life’s most powerful and most compelling motivator, and it represents an unmatched strength that when released is incapable of failing.
But while the love of God is widely accepted, I have come to realize that in its entirety it is immeasurably misunderstood. The degree of God’s love is so vast and extreme, how can the natural mind comprehend it? How can words describe, or our human minds fully understand, something that is as deep as God Himself? God's love is greater than what our words have the ability to communicate. So how can we explain the unexplainable? I’m not sure that we adequately can. One would have to be God Himself to fully understand and explain why He loves the way that He does. So I have settled in my heart that God doesn’t expect us to altogether understand His love, but what He does ask of us is to experience (John 3:16), accept (Romans 5:8), dispense (Ephesians 3:1-19), and obey His love (Matthew 22:36-40).
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
What conflicts with us obeying the love of God and its working within us, is when our lives come into contact with a root of offense that infiltrates and taints the heart. I personally experienced this when I made a conscious decision to harbor resentment and bitterness in my heart towards someone who had wronged and hurt me in a devastating way.
What was even more ironic about this experience with bitterness was that when I allowed my heart and mind to be enraged by the magnitude of the wrong, a strong sense of resentment began to breathe life and give birth to new wrongs unto itself. Just like the age-old adage that says, “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” when we are moved to action by an embittered and resentful heart, it never brings a means to an end, and it never leaves us satisfied. The Holy Spirit then helped me to realize that giving in to bitterness would not make “anything” better, but that it would do the exact opposite, and make “everything” worse.
And so, instead of giving in to resentment and bitterness, God suggested that I give in to His peace. He reminded me of the scripture in Romans 12:18, that says, “If at all possible, as much as it is lies within you, live at peace with all men,” as well as the verse in 2 Timothy 1:7, that says “He has placed within me a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.” I thought to myself, my God, you purposely placed within my heart your spirit of love (Romans 5:5). Enamored by the reality of His love and the deepness of His peace, I continued to go further with this thought (Psalm 42:7), and I found that the use of the word “possible” in Romans 12:18 came from the Greek word “dunatos,” which in this verse meant, “something that is potentially difficult, but nonetheless doable.” And as I began to meditate on these two scriptures, the Holy Spirit said to me, “Son, your decision to be at peace and to love does not rely upon the actions of another, but it “relies upon what lies within you,” and “Even when someone isn’t at peace with you, because of my love, you still have it “within you” to be at peace with them!” (Marques Farmer)
"I choose today to pay no attention to a suffered wrong; I refuse to allow bitterness and resentment to be at home in my heart and begin to hinder the love of God working in and through me. I am at peace with all men; therefore, I am an extension of God’s love to all, even to those who have hurt, offended and wronged me."
TODAY'S BIBLE READING
Our Bible Reading Plan gives 25 daily readings per month. There is no scheduled reading for today. You can use this time to catch up on any readings you may have missed, or read through previous passages again.