“Love hardly notices when someone does something wrong.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
When I glanced at my great grand-daughter’s face, her sunglasses was a wonderful reminder of how I once felt as a child. I immediately saw the contrast, the thought came across to me of God’s love; how love is blind or shaded from seeing the faults in others, while the focus is on what only God sees. And children have this ability more than adults, they seldom hold a grudge, are quick to forgive, and accept you with all your wrinkles and gray hair.
The Apostle Paul, knowing more than anyone else, how God’s unsurmountable grace and love covered his sins of blasphemy, violence and persecution, said he was shown God’s mercy and grace, because he was ignorant and did not see to believe.
(1 Timothy 1:12-14)
I remember the day as a child, I sat seated, quietly, listening as my Sunday School teacher told the story of how Jesus Christ died for me on the cross. Then, the class was invited to pray, quietly and privately the prayer of repentance and faith. I prayed that prayer because I believed. And the day I received God’s Holy Spirit, I knew God’s acceptance, as I wrapped my arms around my body not wanting the sheer reality of it all, to go away.
My attitude towards people began to change. God loved them and I loved them too. I simply could not judge, and could see no flaw, no wrong in anyone, only God’s love. It made it possible to forgive, and not hold any grudges, even in the times I was misunderstood and ridiculed for my faith. But just as childhood transforms us into adulthood, so did my vision of love begin to darken and fade.
It makes sense, then, when you receive God’s unconditional love, how you can love others without judgment. It doesn’t mean you condone sin or wrongdoing, it just means you become more resistant or immune, personally, to the offenses. Your focus is more on a person’s need for Christ, and the the desire to share the same love you received when you believed, like how:
Jesus prayed to the Father, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”, as the soldiers ravaged his body and mockers hurled accusations at Him.
Stephen, while he was stoned for confessing the truth, fell on his knees and cried out, Lord do not hold this sin against them.” (Acts 7:59-60)
The thief on the cross who recognized his sin and saw His Savior, was able to say,
“We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong,” Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”.
And with that confession, the thief was able to hear Jesus say:
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:41-43
How were they able to see past personal hurt and pain?
I believe, the closer we come to looking into the face of His Word, the more our eyes can see beyond our own limited perspective.
I believe it is when we comprehend how it cost us nothing, but cost God everything to give us His beloved Son, we begin to see Jesus’ love for everyone.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Ephesians 2: 4-10
PRAYER: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19