Roses are my favorite flower. But one thing about them, as beautiful as they are, is that they always, without fail, have thorns. I suppose they are kind of like us. We all have a beautiful side, but also a side that is not beautiful at all. But that ugly side is just as real as the beautiful. Now, in Christ we are growing and being sanctified each day, thus we should see more holiness and love in each of our lives. But that does not erase the fact that we are sinful, fallen creatures. That is why we need the Savior. We have a choice in dealing with each other. Everyone likes to see the beautiful side of people, and that’s usually the side that we do see at first. But at some point we’re going to see some not to pretty things in each other. We will see inconsistency, lack of love, imperfect performance, sin. Now here is where the choice comes. We can choose to walk away because we don’t like to see those things in people. After all, why would you put up with that when you could just go be with someone who always looks good, right? We can just jump from one shallow relationship to another without ever having to learn to truly love people. But that’s just not reality. It’s not biblical. It’s easy to love the lovely, but we all know that we aren’t always lovely. We fail, sometimes badly. It is in those moments when we must choose to love with Christ-like love. Christ loved us while we were yet sinners, when we still hated Him and were completely walking in sin. He saved us and continues to pour out His grace and love upon us, even as we fail. If we cannot love each other like this, then what do we really know about the love of Christ? He who has been forgiven much loves much. If we aren’t very forgiving, maybe we should take a closer look at ourselves. You can’t really love someone for who they are until you see their faults, their failures, their bad side. It’s easy to love the lovely, but can we love truly? Love is a powerful thing and can have a great influence over people. But it is also sometimes not reciprocated. In those times we must just continue to love as Christ loves us. Ours is to obey, the results are up to God. If we are to be representatives of Christ, then we must love as He loves. We must love unconditionally. We must love truly. Because we are all equally in need of the unconditional, true love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” - 1 John 3:18