Way back in the days of 31 I wrote about identity and how vital it is in your Christian walk to know not only know you are God's but what it says about you. It is impossible to truly love yourself if you don't understand how insanely much you are loved by God.
Recently I am learning how much your identity can also effect how much you can love others. How strongly I believe God's love for me determines how much love I can hold for another person. His love is what gives me love and therefore overflows me with love to give away.
This all seems quite simple and obvious until there is a difficult person in your life to love. I don't mean on days when your husband forgets to make the bed or your kids disobey all day and whine as if they'll never get another chance to do so or some crazy person takes forever in the grocery store line in front of you. Those are all moments we are given to show great love but they are short lived and don't cost us too much in the way of heart sacrifice.
I am talking about people who have hurt you or your family, people who you hear about who have done the unthinkable, people who when you think about them you can feel your blood pressure rise, you can feel your heart drop and you can feel the desire to throw all your beliefs out the window just to hang on to the hard feelings or feel yourself retreat so you can pretend that they're not really there.
So many people have a person like that where the ache hurts but the cost of loving feels like it could hurt more. I have that person. I wish I didn't. I wish I could say that I love like Christ loves me. I want to love like He loved me first but it's hard. On some days it feels impossible. God is taking me on a journey, an extension of the one he started over a year ago, to help me learn about gospel love. How to love like Christ in all circumstances and to all people. It's easy to love the easy ones but we most often aren't called to the easy things.
I am at the very beginning of this trip. So much so that I can still see the starting point if I turned around to glance. So much so that it wouldn't take long to run back to the house, unpack my suitcase and pretend that I was never going any where. My prayer is that I keep walking. No matter what comes up, I pray that I keep walking.
I will be sharing with you what I'm learning and what I'm struggling with and when I want to quit and when God has helped me walk miles instead of yards. Today I am kicking off a weekly reminder of who I am in Christ to help me on my journey and to encourage you on whatever path God is sending you down. From now on, on Tuesdays I am planning to share with you a different verse I have found for my identity list. A verse that tells me whose I am and what I am because of it.
Today I am sharing the first one I ever wrote down.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
In these few words I know that
He chose me
He set me apart to be special
He loves me, dearly
and because of that I can be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient.
I can bear His Fruit
because He loved me first
I'll pack that verse along with me and take it on the road.