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Family Matters: When It Doesn’t Look or Feel Like Love

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You know what is easy?

Thinking about us. It’s easy for me to think about myself. It’s easy for you to think about yourself. That is what’s easy.

I can only imagine the time I’ve wasted wondering what another person thinks of me, being frustrated over the way someone else makes me feel, worrying about how I look, comparing myself to others…I’ve spent so much time filling my world up with me.

It’s easy.

Sometimes it’s good. To be in tune with why I am the way I am, to know my feelings and to understand them is healthy. To stop there is not, because there is something I want more than myself. Jesus.

Jesus was pretty in tune with Himself. He knew when He needed to be alone and was well versed in the whole spectrum of human emotion.

But He didn’t stop there.

Instead of letting the size of His world depend on the reach of His fingers, He grounded Himself with a different perspective—He made His life about others. He let the size of His world depend on the truth of love, rather than preoccupied thoughts about Himself and His feelings—even when the world around Him didn’t reflect love back.

Freedom from my own selfish thoughts? Freedom from a world that revolves around my pain, my happiness and everything in between? I want that. I want Jesus and to be like Him. I want the same solid ground Jesus stood on because on that ground life is mostly just about inviting others to stand on solid ground too.

The Christmas season is full of opportunity to do just that. We head into our homes to people who’ve hurt us, to reminders of those we’ve lost and so much more. It’s easy to dwell on whatever brokenness we see, feel or come from during this season.

Instead, let’s stand on solid ground. Let’s remember we always have the opportunity to ignite change as we kindly let our brokenness know it’s subject to not just any love, but Jesus’ love. Let’s be love even when the world around us doesn’t reflect love to us. Wherever you head this season, stand on the truth of love instead of your earthly experience of it:

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is who Jesus is to us and who we are called to be to others. It’s what we desire from others too, but we don’t have to get hung up there.

Jesus’ kind of love isn’t a far away idea—it’s what Jesus gave to us and gives to others through us. This season (and beyond this season) let’s focus less on how others make us feel and more on how we can make others feel. Let’s find our home not in our circumstances and relationships, not in the brokenness we feel or encounter—instead, let’s find our home in the God who came near, Immanuel, our heavenly Father who spared nothing to share His unwavering love with all.

Instead of doing what’s easy, let’s stand firm in the truth of love and find our home there.

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