God’s Love Includes Harsh Pruning
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV)
God is love and commands us to love one another. He “demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ro. 5:8) Our heavenly Father loves us, even when the filth of our own sins cling to us. He sees the good in all His children. Looking past our present flaws, knowing they will transform into attributes of beauty through His grace, He sees the work of art we are destined to become.
Oh, that we might see our brothers and sisters with the same spiritual eyes of love that our Savior reserves for us! Why must we focus on the sins within those we care about, and not glorify the gifts of praise God has already transformed in them? We live in a world full of hash criticisms and so often we end up pointing out weaknesses in others, when we in turn have a huge plank in our own eye.
However, God’s love is not always puppy tails and cotton candy. Sometimes, His love is a plate of vitamins and liver. He sees our malnourished spirits and lovingly asks us to swallow some bitter pills. In love, He brings difficult things to our attention that may at first be a real challenge to digest. But once we have taken that first awful bite ….. and really chew on it, we decide to lay down our pride and admit our wrongs.
Max Lucado put it very well in the following quote:
“God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses……
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