So now January is over. And we’re halfway through February. And maybe that means all those expectations you wrote down are feeling less motivating and more paralyzing. Or maybe you chose a “word” to be your focus throughout the year and the letters are blurring.
I did not make resolutions. And since I’m a yakkety-yak, no single “word” for me. But I do have a sentence that has swirled in all the corners of my heart for months and months, a sentence which I know will carry me through 2015, which I pray will keep me motivated and moving forward and in focus. The sentence, the words: “Love like Jesus.”
The sentence that becomes a motto. A tattoo. A prayer.
All of us should want to love like Jesus, no matter our doctrine, theology, ideology or denomination. I want to learn to love like Jesus. I want my husband to love like Jesus. I want my sons and grandchildren to love like Jesus.
I want to be generous, forgiving, and compassionate enough to love people unconditionally. To understand sacrifice and selflessness. To get over being the center of my world, and to focus on looking for those who need my help every day.
I want love that is patient, that is kind, that doesn’t envy, that doesn’t boast, that isn’t proud. I want love that doesn’t dishonor others, that isn’t self-seeking, not easily angered, that keeps no record of wrongs. I want love that doesn’t delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
I want to understand that every day love makes a difference. That life is a gift. That love is a gift. That each day I awake and breathe is a gift.
It’s the only gift that I have right now. And my only appropriate response is gratefulness.
May my heart and eyes be open to loving like Jesus.
Open to love; closed to resentment. Open to forgiveness; closed to bitterness. Open to grace; closed to mercilessness.
Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around me. And all around you.
Love each other as I have loved you. ~ Jesus [John 15:12]
For the next eleven months, I’ll be writing and meditating on what it means to Love Like Jesus.