Jesus is calling us to be willing to suffer anything and forsake everything for the sake of the gospel. His call is to love those who have cheated us in business; those who have spread nasty rumors about us; those who would kill us if they could; those who disagree with us politically, practically, and fundamentally.
His call is to consider everything a loss for His sake. His call is for total surrender.
What does it mean to love people though?
I mean does it simply mean I spit the words out of my mouth--"Oh I love them" and then scream with my actions something else? It's more than just saying that you love them isn't? Talk is cheap.
It's not even about our actions though is it?
This is what is so frustrating about being a Christian...
I can say all the right things--heck I can even do the right things--and it won't even freaking matter.
If I don't have the right attitude in my heart--nothing else matters.
How do I really feel about the person that's treating me like crap right now? Do I sincerely love them?
Do I desire their good?
When someone wrongs me--do I want them to repent for my sake or theirs?
When someone sins against me--is my heart longing for them to repent for their sake and because I want to forgive them?
Honestly--I'm still figuring this out.
For the past few months God knows how often I've been on my knees or curled up in my bed crying and asking God for love and patience--cause I couldn't muster them up no matter how hard I tried.
Begging Him for a heart full of love, joy, and forgiveness. Because that is not my natural state.
When I am hurt--my natural desire is to make the people hurt me hurt as well.
I am inclined to hate before I love. I am inclined to be depressed instead of having joy. and I am inclined to hold a grudge in my heart instead of having a heart of forgiveness.
God's good though and its an amazing thing to go to bed a mess asking Him all the while to give you the peace, joy, patience, and love that you can't seem to find no matter how hard you try--and when you wake up in the morning to find that you have been given them.
It's pretty much the best gift ever.
And no, I didn't go to bed like that last night--lol maybe the night before though. =P