By Josh Kerby
When God created us, He created us to love perfectly. We could love people unconditionally without any selfishness behind it. Once the fall happened, it shattered us. It not only cursed this earth and us, but it also cursed our love. This love that we now share with people is a broken love. It’s not perfect. It’s not unconditional. When someone is trying to love us, sometimes that love isn’t portrayed how it is intended, sometimes it seems very selfish or annoying. How should we receive love from broken people? How should we love as broken people?
When I look at the Bible, Jesus showed us what love truly is. He demonstrated true, unconditional love. Jesus wasn’t a broken person, and neither was His love. Romans 12:9 says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Jesus showed us sincere love. It came from deep within. He showed no mercy to evil and fought it with His perfect love. Jesus sets the example of how love should look. How love should be portrayed and demonstrated. The simple fact, however, is we will never truly love as Jesus did in this life.
Since we know what perfect love looks like and we know Jesus wants us to love others with perfect love, we tend to expect others to magically be able to love us the same. We think that the love others demonstrate should be the same that Jesus demonstrated, but our love is broken. Our love can never be that unconditional. We put these unfair expectations on others and then get disappointed when someone doesn’t live up to the perfect love. We tend to be disappointed and even toss away the love they are attempting to show us.
So how should we receive love from others? We should receive it with grace. We should receive it knowing it isn’t unconditional, but they want it to be. We should receive it with love, knowing they are doing the best they can with their broken love. They are trying to show you they care about you; they want to be there and love you. The problem is it can’t be done perfectly. We have to lower our expectation and remember we are trying to do the same to others. We are trying to show our broken hearts to others. We are trying to show other’s the same thing. Our love is also broken and not perfect. We can’t expect more from someone else when we can’t match our own expectations.
How many times have you ignored someone’s love because it didn’t match your expectations? I am sure we have all done it. We have all tossed someone’s love out the window because we didn’t think it measured up. We need to start seeing their love differently. We need to understand their love is broken and fragile. Their love has rough corners and sharp edges. Here’s the cool part though, God’s love for us can start smoothing out our love. Our love can slowly transform into the love Jesus showed us. So when receiving love from others, receive it with grace knowing their love is broken just like yours. Encourage them to continue loving others. Most importantly, encourage them to love God and ask Him to smooth out those rough spots. We should do the same. Love well and ask God to help with it.
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