Bottom Line: Grace and mercy, love and forgiveness
- "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." — Matthew 5:48
- "Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." — Galatians 6:2
- "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." — Ephesians 4:32
- "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." — Colossians 3:13-14
- "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." — 1 Peter 4:8
I want to continue my theme from last time. The bottom line is grace & mercy, love & forgiveness. Recently I emphasized that we are not perfect, but that God’s grace and power are made perfect in our weakness. Now I want to say that God wants us to love others who fail and who are weak.
Although we are not perfect Jesus told us to have perfect love like the Father who loves everyone UNCONDITIONALLY, both good people and bad people. People have a lot of problems and many weaknesses. Perfect love (true love from the Father) loves, forgives and accepts imperfect people.
When People Don't Measure Up
Unfortunately, we have high standards that we sometimes hold people to. When people don’t measure up and when their weaknesses come out it is easy to judge, condemn and reject them.
I am not saying that we should be wishy-washy, not express our opinions or not confront problems that come up. I am just saying that perfect love continues to love and accept weak and broken people (which includes everyone!). Perfect love continues to love people who have different political or theological views than us and people who are different than us. Perfect love continues to love people when they fail, offend us or do things that we don’t like.
God is love and love is the main command. Perfect love forgives. Perfect love is full of grace and mercy. Isn’t this the way God loved us by sending Jesus to the cross for us?
What will you do when the weaknesses of people in your life become painful? What will you do when they speak negatively, criticize you, are disrespectful, express anger or irrational emotion? What will you do when people do things you just don’t like?
God is full of grace and mercy. He gives us the grace to love people despite their weaknesses and failures.
This is true love.
“Everything in the Christian life and experience depends on the quality of our love relationship with God. If that is not right, nothing will be right.” — Henry Blackaby
Jim Millard is the Founder of Sunrise International Ministries and has served as a missionary in Japan for over 35 years. Jim is an Asian Access Faculty Member and helped formulate much of the Asian Access leader development model when he established the program in three Asian countries outside Japan.