Jesus left a perfect existence to live among us. Then, in the face of rejection, threats and jeers, He died an excruciating death – for the very people who mistreated and disrespected Him.
Even moments before His death, as He hung on the cross, bleeding and struggling for every painful breath, people continued to reject and mock Him. Yet Jesus still gave up His life for them. And not only for them, but for us, too, even those of us who reject and mock Him.
Jesus personified unwavering love then, and He continues to do so today. Which brings us to this week’s challenging statement found in 1 Corinthians 13:7d (ESV): “[Love] endures all things.”
My desire was to write to you about enduring love, but as much as I wanted to write about a love that displays perfect commitment, I couldn’t seem to do it. I wrote – and rewrote – several paragraphs. Then I deleted all of them, only to repeat the cycle again and again. This type of love … is simply beyond my skills as a writer to effectively describe.
One thing I can do, however, is pray that we’ll ask God to help us become people who practice a love that (as the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition describes) “endures everything [without weakening].” I’m praying for nothing short of a miracle – that we, flaky, self-absorbed people, will love so well that we can endure everything without weakening.
I’m asking God to remind us that love isn’t an emotion as much as it’s a commitment. It’s being willing to look past people’s faults and see the person they’re trying to become. To be willing to love even those who seem committed to a downward path. I hope you will join me in asking God to show each of us where we fail and fill us with His love and presence.
Could it be that the more we commit to practice enduring love, the greater the spirit of unity we’ll have in our churches, families and communities? What do we lose when we fail to persevere in our love for one another? When we don’t love as God loves us? In short, we short ourselves (and the people we share life with).
Jesus persevered in His love for mankind throughout His life on earth – all the way to the cross. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 ESV). Today, He continues to love us unfailingly, even when we’re anything but lovely.
This, my friend, is enduring love.
Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. You can reach her at SherylHBoldt@gmail.com