Maybe that’s the best answer that Mr. Anderson can give to his students. Us humans have this tendency to be discontent of what we have. But if we’re given a choice between “to love or not to love”, what are we going to choose?
I remembered the question that was given to us during our pre-assessment interview for division ranking for public school teacher last month.
“how to love the unlovable?”
Then I was quicken to answer a very familiar answer:
“to see them the way God sees them”
But I was wrong in answering that. Actually, I kind of wrong to think such answer immediately and not knowing what it really means. The way I answered was pure religious and not by heart. Why? Because I never knew what it feels to be loved that way. Not until now I learned and experienced the word “GRACE”.
Let me take this out of my chest.
I was grown to know that the source of my love is through “good works” and I lived that way even when I become a Christian. This is hard but let me explain where I’m coming from. Like I said, I grew up having this mindset that for my friends and families to like me, I should do favors for them. Do some errands for these people even the foolish ones, hopefully I could won their affirmation and my relationship/place towards them. But I ended up hurting myself and depression is always at my midst. All because of those delusion, I became a person that don’t want to be and my demons comes rushing in, making me hate these people as I hate myself living this life.
Sometimes I wondered. If I could just have these things: money, expensive things, car, my family is rich and I have a career that makes me famous then probably they could let me be part to their circle of friends, invite me to their private gatherings and involve me to their fellowship and conversations. But even if I have these things, I’m pretty sure that they’re still not going to notice me. Because I’m just me. I’m average, not so pretty, not so intelligent (I’m not self-pitying) and not good-looking kind of girl. Even my family can see that. And really…how can I love the unloved even if I don’t have any idea what it is?
Before I surrender my life to Christ, I was a complete mess; emotionally, socially and spiritually. I came to the point that I am so dead and lifeless, I sell out everything I have just to gain the love of others. But on that evening, when He called my name and invite me in to His presence, I’d tasted and seen love in a very sweetest and powerful way that made me so speechless, so amazed. And all of a sudden, this dead, lifeless and unlovable sinner has become alive and free by His grace. I was redeemed and made new and yes! I loved and accepted. And the best part: I don’t need to do anything to gain that love. The word “GRACE” was found its meaning when Christ suffered the death on the cross. And now, I am a new creation.God didn’t stop there. He mold and change me for the better. He meticulously take me away from my previous sins that’s dishonoring to Him and leads me to the way that is right, just and pleasing to His eyes. And God is not done with me yet because the battle is far from over.
As I starting walking this new walk, insecurities and some of the issues that make me look small are still there but this time with a different people. Yes as a spiritual family, as they called, we are commanded to love one another and be in good terms with each other. I’m still having a hard time getting in to this. Because I don’t want to judge them for not inviting me in to their circle but also I want to be sincere and be firm about them not treating me fairly as a friend/church mate (I don’t even know my place to this group and it seems like they don’t mind that I am most of the time I’m being outcast and left behind). But God gently rebuke me from that thinking and lead me to that word once again. “GRACE”.
In our Friday Youth Service, God was pressing me in to these pointers that I should do so that I could love the unlovable by “GRACE”:
1) EVALUATE YOURSELF AND KNOW WHO YOU ARE
Most of the time, we tend to look for flaws from other people so that we could blame them for anything. How about you? Do you know yourself better? It’s hard to evaluate yourself when you’re clouded with your own self-centered motives and it can really hurt people. Yes I am accepted and loved by God for who I am but He loves me enough to stay the way I am. The way you think, act and speak to others really determines who you really are. As follower of Christ, I learned that I should walk according to the “GRACE” that was given to me by God. I should discipline myself to the things that is not pleasing to the eyes of God. I was inspired of what Ptr. Joseph Bonifacio said in his article:
Correction is painful, embarrassing, and invasive. But everyone needs it. And to hate it is stupid.
There’s some very good news to this verse (Proverbs 12:1): God doesn’t consider it stupid if we make mistakes. It’s only stupid when we hate being corrected for them. It doesn’t matter how naturally smart, talented, or brilliant we are. We’re all imperfect and need correction.
So go ahead and live life fearlessly! Make mistakes! Fail spectacularly! Fall flat on your face. And then receive the correction, thank the person, and make the necessary adjustments. You’re on your way to wisdom.
Don’t be stupid. -When God Calls You Stupid
You may change things about yourself but people are still not going to like you. And that’s ok. In this world. I learned that people will gonna dislike or hate me in any way. But as long as I’m on God’s side, I’m in the right place. And it doesn’t matter if I’m alone or not.
2) KNOW WHO THEY ARE. ACCEPT AND LEARN TO UNDERSTAND
One of my mentors once told me that people are really different in so many angles in life. And yes we are all different in any way. But it doesn’t mean we can’t get along with each other anymore. I was pondered to this word every time I’m turning into judgemental and arrogant.”RESPECT”. They might not invite me to their gatherings or involve me to their conversations but it doesn’t mean that they’re not like me or anything. Yes, they might not like me at all (whatever reasons may be) but it doesn’t give me any excuse to think negative against them. Because we’re all different in mind, body and actions, I see to it that I should see them still as friends and not as enemies. Easier said than done isn’t it? That’s where “GRACE” comes it. Without grace, it is impossible to act like that but God is faithful and He does not give us the temptation that we cannot bear on our own strength (1 Corinthians 10:13). When I see them not treating me fairly, I have to make a decision not to take it against them nor think negatively towards them. Because despite of being different, we’re all the same in eyes of God. No competition, no bargaining or weighting who’s the less sinner than the other. We’re all brothers and sisters and in God’s eyes. we are perfectly different from each other but in the same place we are His sons and daughters.That’s why we should love each other more.
3) KNOW WHO GOD IS AND ALWAYS KEEP HIS LOVE WITH YOU
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. – Ephesians 2:4-9 ESV
I was so humbled by His word. I makes me realized that without His grace, I am nothing. I have nowhere to go. The great love that He has for me puts me to where I am today. Yes, I was saved, but He gave me more than I could ever imagined to have. FREEDOM, FORGIVENESS, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, ALL GRACE has been poured down on me because He loves me. And I can’t compete to that. I just can’t. Knowing my place before Him makes me walk in confidence that no matter what happens, people may done bad against me or not, I’m still His! His love keeps me hold on even more and as I grow more in to that love, I believe that in faith He will make all thing work together for my good.
Love is a decision. It is not depend on who you are and who you’re with. It’s about who your Father is and how gracious and lovable He is that compels us to love others as well. I believe that all the hating and disliking will never stop even if I end this article. But since we’re all the same people compelled by His grace, is it possible that the end of hate is TO LOVE AND LOVE ALONE? If that’s the case, WE SHOULD LOVE EACH OTHER INSTEAD AND STOP LIVING ON OUR OWN EXPECTATIONS. It is hard but always surround yourself with His love. It will never ran out nor fails. THE BEST PART: IT WAS PURE AND PERFECT!
One last note: