What if I lived my life like Jesus?
This was the question at a women’s retreat I attended this past weekend. We dug deep into Jesus’ life to discover how we could live his life. Obviously I’m not going to master this concept but guess what? I can try.
There was one theme that we saw throughout every lesson. Jesus LOVED. He loved like nobody has ever loved before. One speaker called it reckless. He was controversial. He could have easily come into this world and joined ranks with the ‘religious elitists’ and let them go spread his message for him. But it wouldn’t have been the right message. So instead he found the most controversial people he could to show us one thing.
How to love those that are hard to love.
One speaker called us out on that thought. It’s easy to love our friends, our family, people that we enjoy being around. We think ‘Oh yeah. Love. I do that. I love everyone.’
But do we? I don’t. There are plenty of people that have wronged me and I don’t love them. But that’s what Jesus called us to do. Love those that are not easy to love.
But there is a second lesson to this, and that’s forgiveness. My brain was fighting itself so many times this weekend. I learned several weeks ago the blessed secret behind forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation. Forgiveness doesn’t mean I leave myself vulnerable to be hurt again. Forgiveness is more for me than for the person I forgive. I let go of the wrong, I recognize that I can’t change what happened and I let them go with no grudge.
But how do I love them? Well… I don’t know.
Here’s a truth about me though.
I’ve been very quiet in regards to a recent policy change at my favorite big box store because I’m conflicted. I realize that it makes it a little bit easier for someone to violate another’s privacy. I get it.
But here’s another truth that I’m moving beyond and sharing because I’ve stayed silent for too long.
I was sexually assaulted at seven years old. In a game room next to a pool table. A place that my parents assumed I would be safe. By a person that my parents trusted.
You guys, it would be *so easy* to hate men. It would be so easy to keep my eight year old girl and six year old girl home where I know they would be safe. It would be so easy to boycott a store to force them to change a policy. It would be so easy to not love, and live in fear and hatred.
But that’s not what God has called me to do.
He told me to love those that are hard to love. That’s my calling. It’s your calling too.