Monday, September 19, 2016

Love is Messy

I'm going to start this one out a little differently. Usually, I tell a story of my life and then bring it back to Jesus, but I'm just gonna jump right to the meat of this blog from square one. Love is messy. Throughout the Bible, love is messy. Throughout every characters life in the Bible, through every character in the acts of history, through every character reading this right now, love is messy. And even though we continue to make a mess of the love we have for others and for our God, His love for us is ridiculously consistent! It is unfailing, unending, unconditional love in the rawest form.

 From the start of creation, an infinitely loving God had to not only allow us to rebel against Him, but watch with his caring heart as we did, knowing full well the consequences of our own rebellion. He had to watch his only begotten Son die on a cross so that we might even have a chance of the redemption and salvation that we need, and yet He still has to watch as people refused that immensely ginormous free gift. And yet. AND YET. His love is consistent, unfailing, unending, and unconditional.

 Jesus, our bridegroom, lived a perfect life. A perfect one. He's the only person to live a perfect life and the foundation of Christianity hinges on it. But we aren't perfect. Not even close! No one is except Jesus. I mean imagine this from Jesus' perspective real quick to grasp this before you skim on to the next paragraph. He's the bridegroom and we are the bride. We're the bride! We suck. We aren't perfect. We don't deserve that at all. And he knows that. He knows we suck, to put it ever so bluntly. He went all the way through life and died on a cross knowing we weren't even close to being perfect. In fact he died because of that reason! Our bridegroom lived a perfect life while His bride didn't, and then instead of giving up, he went to the cross and died so that we might have his perfection given to us freely. I hope that blows your mind. Can you imagine being Jesus? I'd be like, "well, Scottie hasn't talked to me for 3 months, I better let him know my grace is dwindling thin, and that if he doesn't talk to me, I'm gonna have to abort this whole love thing and just go live my life without dying." No! That's ridiculous! Thats not love. Love is consistently unconditional.

 We, on the other hand, are not perfect, and apart from Gods imputed righteousness, never will be. We will continue to make mistakes and screw up in all of our relationships. With our parents, our children, our siblings, our spouses, our significant others, our friends, our coworkers, everyone we come in contact with. We will always fail. And yet Jesus taught us one important thing about love and relationships. They aren't about other people's failures. They are about consistent, unconditional love that is full of grace when asked for. We commomly make mistakes when it comes to understanding this in our relationships. Our tendency is to sit and think that relationships are all about how I am treated, about wrongs done to me. And that's probably a huge impact of today's society. But the love of God and of the Bible is so radically reversed in that it's about how I treat others and about what wrongs I do to them. Family, friends, spouses, they will all fail you! So don't put your hope in them, put them in the love that is consistent, Jesus Christ, and then continue to love them like he loves you!

Ive been in a relationship for 17 months. It had its fair share of rocky moments. But looking back to every single one of them, it was always because we placed our hopes and fulfillments in each other, not God. We were too prideful to own up to our own mistakes but continually pointed out the mistakes of each other. We got defensive when wrongs were brought up. That's not a healthy approach to relationships. Relationships are meant to be poured from the inside out, not the outside in. We can't expect love and growth and trust and grace in relationships where we are expecting them in return before we dish them out ourselves. We need to take it from the consistent source, Jesus, and then give it out to each other. That is my goal! To grow in that type of love, with all of the relationships in my life. In my experience, that's the single most critical aspect to all relationships. With it, mistakes are still made, but love is consistent. Without it...

 Love is messy

This winding road sums up our efforts at love pretty well