A Bold Statement

 Photo by  Arleen wiese  on  Unsplash

Photo by Arleen wiese on Unsplash

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.     -John 13:34-35

I am daily reminded of God’s unconditional love.  Usually because I often struggle with this love in my own life.  Receiving it is the easy part, offering it to others is way more difficult.  I am a foster mother of one beautiful 8 year old little girl.  She is brave and caring and willing and soft hearted.  She can also be trying, as most children her age are.  She knows her mom and loves her mom and is very bonded to her.  This all makes letting me in very hard for her.  We bang heads and she challenges my every statement and request.  Without a strong bond like I have with my biological kids, it is sometimes hard to look at her without putting a wall up around myself.  I let the things she says and does get to me and upset me and they get in the way of our closeness.  Some days it is just hard to love unconditionally!  This is when I am usually reminded that no matter what I do, without God’s love, I am not loving well.  

As I question my love and my motives for the 97th time in one week I am reminded of God’s love for the “unloveable”.  He was patient, gentle, stern, truthful, inclusive, He defended them and He rebuked them, lovingly.  I have to admit that my love alone isn’t good enough.  Loving in my own strength won’t be enough in the hard places.  Letting God love through me, handing over my frustrations and admitting when I need help, is all very important in allowing love to flow through my brokenness.  Love offered in those moments will make a bigger statement than the love that freely flows from my heart in the easy times.  

What really has a hold on me are the words found in today’s scripture that say people will know I am Christ’s disciple through the love I share with others. It is a huge statement, really.  A huge statement to my foster child watching, waiting and learning about Jesus.  A huge statement to my biological children learning how to share with and love others.  A huge statement to people around me who are watching to see how I handle this situation or that issue.  Our love for others proves to the world that we are disciples of God!  I don’t always get it right.  I know I have disappointed an onlooker or two.  I know there have been times when I have not boldly proclaimed Who I belong to, but continue to work on it.  I am working on letting God love in my difficult moments.  I am working on letting go and inviting God in to do all the loving, especially in the hard moments, those broken moments when I mess up, when I try to do it all on my own and I come up short.  God’s love for me is the perfect example of the love I can offer others when I give Him control of my life.  God’s unconditional love will forever be there waiting for me when I mess this up. But just as important are the people watching who will miss out on knowing who I really am if I don’t try to figure this out.  Yes, I am a work in progress………     

What kind of statement are you making to those watching how you love ?  Are you proving to the world that you are a disciple of Christ?  What can you do differently today?

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