“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
It may seem that most sermons are about encouraging us to “try harder.” Right? You may hear, “You must love people, and this is how you love people. Now, try your hardest and stop messing up.”
But, the miracle about Christian love is that it’s actually not about trying harder. Although love is entirely about what you do and not what you feel, trying harder isn’t enough to get you there. The reason we recite our Creed of the Beloved every single week is that, unless you live from a place of God’s love and God’s grace, it’s not about your works, it’s not about your trophies, and it’s not about your reputation.
Until your identity is grounded not in what people think and say, but one hundred percent rooted in God’s love, well, you know what? All of your love for others is going to be based on circumstance.
You’re actually supposed to love people that are hard to love, even if you never meet them. And although feeling angry is not only a normal thing, sometimes it’s a good thing. You can be angry with someone who is hard to love and yet you can still love that person. Ground your identity in God’s love and loving others will be easier than you think.
Prayer: Dear Lord, there are those who have hurt me and yet you ask me to love them. May the deep love I feel in my heart for you and my faith in your love for me give me the strength to love difficult people. Amen.
Reflection: Who is one person you need to find a way to forgive through God’s agape love?