Loving the Unlovable

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Recently I asked myself this question, “Why am I placed in the middle of some people who are so hard to like?” I know “like” is subjective. And I couldn’t agree more. I must admit that I like people whom I can actually see myself in, especially when it comes to values. For some reason, there is some sort of attraction between people who share the same interests and strengths and/or who hate the same inadequacies. It may be a natural response of our being because then we wouldn’t need to struggle to build a lasting relationship. Or it may also be a matter of belonging.

Oftentimes though, I come across individuals who seem to portray the opposite of who I am (or who I strive to be). I know it is not intentional but for some reason they tip off my temper when I see in them the things that I hate feeling, or doing. And then I ask myself, “I try so hard not to be like that (or not to do that), how can this person find it so easy to do it and not show any sort of remorse?” And then frustration kicks in. Followed repulsion if not controlled earlier. Of course, it should be expected that the feeling is mutual. These people most likely feel the same way towards me.

Having thought of this question, I found myself contemplating on how great it would feel to be surrounded by people who are completely likable or, ultimately, lovable. I thought the world would be totally perfect if that would have been the case. But thank God He gave me a strong nudge of disapproval soon after.

What He revealed to me next was something extraordinarily heart-clenching…

“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” -Matthew 5:46-47

Wow, I never thought I’d say this, but after this revelation, I thank God I have lots of people around me who don’t and possibly won’t love me back. Because only if I can show them love do I actually personify real love. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and my friends, and I’m pretty sure they love me back. But the ultimate test of love is when we freely give it to people who we find unlovable, and those who feel the same towards us.

Finally, the story of Jesus’ descent to this world wraps it all up nicely.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”-John 3:16

God, in all His goodness and perfection would naturally love to be around those who are as holy and perfect as Him. Otherwise His purity would be stained. However, being Love Himself, He still chose to be with us, sinners. We who are totally unlovable because of our transgressions… And He did this by sending His only begotten and beloved Son to die on the cross, in order to give a new life to us. One that is pure and blameless. So that we may be with Him for all eternity. Could there be any bigger love than this?

I’d like to believe that God placing us in the middle of unlovable people is His way of transforming us to be like Him, slowly but surely. Because only when we are made to love the unlovable do we truly maximize the true essence of the word. So that we may love even more, much more.

God bless us all. Stay in love with everyone.

Grace is not for “Giraffes”

Grace is perhaps the most underrated gift in the world. And I say that not because it is looked down upon, but because some people feel they need to stretch out their necks high enough to reach it. Just like a giraffe.

Grace is Meant for All

How often do I hear people say “I am not worthy because I am too sinful”. Such a classic example of grace being underestimated. But what is grace exactly? Let’s take a few step backs, specifically 2012 years ago… it was a dark, gloomy day in Calvary. Men were jeering, laughing, throwing ridicule at a man who was to be sentenced to death that day. A cross, perhaps weighing more than 100 kilos, was on his shoulder, being carried uphill by His poor, heavily wounded body. His tongue was all dried up from lack of anything to drink. His stamina was like that of a man who hasn’t had a meal for days. Blood was flowing down his face, out of several wounds punctured by a thorny crown barbarically placed on his head. Eventually He was going to be crucified. His already weakened body to be hung on the cross He was carrying, His last drop of strength used to breathe amid the agony of being nailed through His already painful hands and feet… The biggest irony is, this man was blameless, holy, completely righteous, and God Himself.

So then why did this man have to endure all these? From His prosecutors’ eyes, it was because He claimed to be the King of Jews (which He rightfully is and will forever be). But from His own eyes, all the suffering, pain, and humiliation were necessary to carry Him down to the most sinful of all His beloved in order to cleanse everyone along the way. Such that not one of His lost sheep will be missed, He suffered to the last drop of His own blood.

This moving story of Jesus brings forth a glorious revelation: that no sin is big enough that it cannot be washed away by the blood of Christ – the ultimate, complete, and perfect essence of God’s grace.

“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.” -1 Peter 3:18

Once for all means completely executed. Beautifully implemented without any flaw or post-event glitches. Thus no one can say that he/she is still unworthy, because that ultimately belittles Jesus’ glorious sacrifice.

Grace is Available to All

On the other hand, there are some who believe grace is for them because they deserve it. Let me rephrase that a bit. There are some who believe grace is NOT for those who do not deserve it. Did Jesus ever ask us to write a resume of our righteousness to determine whether we could receive His grace or not? Well He actually commanded the opposite of that…

“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” -Hebrews 12:15

He ensured that no one failed to receive His grace; in other words, that His grace is always available to everyone who asks. How awesome is that? He did this so that no one can boast in front of Him. Because, truth be told, no one truly deserves grace. But God chooses to shower us with it anyway. My heart melts at the thought of how Merciful and Just our God is.

Indeed, grace is meant for all, and available to all. Because it’s all about Love. And love commands absolutely no conditions.

May God’s grace be with all of us non-giraffes.

It All Started Again When

We all know how it feels when the spirit is willing yet the flesh is weak. It’s a different story though when the flesh is left with no choice because the spirit is kicking and punching with willingness. I believe that’s what happens when God puts thousands of thoughts into your head that you find no other means to store them than in writing.

This journal is the wonderful outcome of that event.

God placed His spirit in all of us to communicate with us His thoughts, His desires, and His secrets even. It would be a total waste to just let them be heard and then forgotten, or totally neglected at worst. Thus a journal is important (this is me reminding myself why I need to make updates often).

And then there’s also the talkative side of me that loves talking about, guess what, me. But I resolve to talk only about me when there’s non-me’s involved. Yes, I shall try but I’m not making promises.

It will be exciting times ahead as this journal slowly (yet surely) gets filled with God’s thoughts, desires, and secrets, treasured moments with friends and families, and me (I said I wasn’t making any promises).

By the way, I have about two or three other journal sites lurking around the net. They’re all pretty much dormant now. So here’s me attempting another one (unlike my previous ones, hopefully this one survives the test of time and laziness).