Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
Recently, the Lord has placed me in a position to love some really difficult students: tough, rude, disrespectful, mean spirited. And y’all, I’m failing. I have spent time praying and asking Him to help me love them. If you are expecting me to say, the Lord has since changed my heart, changed my students and He showed up in a big way, you are mistaken. Every day is a struggle. Every day I position myself before Him in submission. Some days I want out of this race. Some days I want summer! I know, I know… if I knew their circumstances, it would make it easier to love them. But when it comes to actually loving them, day in and day out, it is just hard to love hard people.
You know what God has been teaching me? His main desire for my life is not that I am healthy, happy or comfortable. And dare I say it… it’s not even for Him to answer my prayer and fix my situation. His main desire is that my character would be more like Christ. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5:1-2
Jesus, I want to be an imitator of you. I want to love fully and unconditionally. Help me, Lord.
Don’t get me wrong. He loves me and cares for me in ways I cannot comprehend, but He is more concerned that I am more like Him today than I was yesterday. He is more concerned that I cling to Him as my only hope. He is more concerned that when I am not measuring up, I fall into His Holy presence. He is more concerned that despite rejection, I rely on His power to show up with kindness, patience and unconditional love.
Loving people, genuinely and unconditionally, requires more of Him and less of me. It requires a process where I often do not measure up, but I am persevering in the faith because I do not want to miss a single lesson of His loving discipline due to doubt and discouragement.
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