Melodyless lyrics have been on my mind today. They are from an old-time song from the Gaither Vocal Band, below. People can never love us perfectly, and we find pain anytime we expect a perfect love from a fallible human. Before we get too hard on others, we must know that we can’t perfectly love either. It’s only when we find ourselves in the perfect love of God can we begin loving others more perfectly. There is the only one who knows every thought in our minds and the intent of our hearts. We can hide from ourselves, but God sees it all clearly and loves us completely.
Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.Luke 7:47
When Jesus walked the earth, He was criticized by religious people because a woman with a bad reputation showed love and thankfulness to Him by washing His feet (a common practice) but with her tears and drying them with her hair. Jesus put them in their place by contrasting her beautiful act of worship and thankfulness with their disregard for Him. They didn’t wash His feet (which was customary) or even give Him water for the job. They treated Him as an equal. When we humble ourselves before God, we see what grieves Him. We ask forgiveness, and only then can we understand love and mercy.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.Matthew 5:7
In the Flow
Something happens when we position ourselves in the flow of God’s mercy. We can receive forgiveness for any and all sins and then the pain of human rejection doesn’t cut as deeply. When it’s God who we care about most, when pleasing people gives way to pleasing God, we find supernatural security. Only as we allow ourselves forgiveness and mercy without trying to earn it can we effectively give it to others.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”John 13:34-35
God sent Jesus to take our punishment so we could be forgiven for every sin in action, thought, and deed. He knows those secret sins, those ugly and embarrassing parts of us that we hide from others, but He loves us despite them. When we focus on His mercy as it flows from Him, it flows more easily through us. We can only show love and mercy to the point that we have received it for ourselves. The poem below is VERY SIMPLE but true.
…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8