Love Like You've Never Been Hurt
Love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8A).
Remember the time in your life when you were estranged from God—before you were saved? You were a sinner and you weren’t living right. You knew you needed God’s forgiveness. At that point in your life, when you couldn’t earn it and didn’t deserve it, God was rich in mercy toward you. He loved you even when you were a sinner. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, you were reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 says:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
God reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! The old life passed away and we got a fresh start. But did you notice that along with giving us a fresh start He also gave every one of us the ministry of reconciliation. Whether you are a pharmacist or an insurance salesman or a college student, you are called to be in the ministry of reconciliation. It doesn’t just apply to preachers, but to all of us. The Bible says if you accept what Christ did on the cross, you are called to the ministry of reconciliation.
What does that mean—the ministry of reconciliation? It means that when people hurt us, we keep loving them. It means when there is conflict in our families, or when family members don’t live the way they should, God expects us to seek reconciliation. It means when we are offended, or wounded, or heartbroken, we strive to forgive and we keep loving through the hurt.
The world—and the church—is full of people who are estranged from one another. We see siblings who don’t talk to siblings, and parents who don’t talk to children. We see those who don’t speak to their grandchildren or their brothers and sisters in Christ. Someone has offended someone, someone has hurt someone, and we’ve written somebody off. Sometimes we convince ourselves we must write them off because we can’t tolerate their sin.
But how can we write someone off when it’s our responsibility to love them? Where would we be if God had written us off when we messed up? God loves us through our messes, through our mistakes, and even through our sinful choices. He keeps pursuing us. He keeps offering love and reconciliation. And He expects us to be the same way with each other. It’s our responsibility to reconcile.
If you need to be reconciled to someone, take the first step. God took the first step—and every step needed—to reconcile with us. Maybe you’re waiting for them to get their act together and live right and then you’ll love them. Is that how God loves us? Absolutely not! He loves us like we’ve never hurt Him. He died for us while we were still sinners. Be the one who makes the first move. Make up your mind to love like you’ve never been hurt.
God’s covenant from heaven to you is that love will never fail. It may take a month, or a year, or a lifetime, but don’t give up. Don’t stop loving. It’s never out of order to love. It’s never compromising to love. It’s never wrong to love. Love will not fail; love will triumph.
I pray for you to actively enter the ministry of reconciliation. God can restart your heart. You may have been hurt so deeply you think it can never heal, but our powerful God can bring healing in every situation. God can give you the grace to love like you have never been hurt. Bring the wounds. Bring the mess. Bring the confusion. Bring it all to God. His grace is sufficient. And His love never fails.