“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Mt 7:11 ESV)
Boy, who would have thought that our Old Adam and Eve are evil persons who can do good things, to be sure, yet cannot truly love due to their immanent wretchedness? But wait…can’t they love somehow, though? We know from our own experience that every human being can fall in love which is a wonderful thing, however, it’s still selfish love. Since as soon as the beloved person rejects the one who still looks through rose-colored glasses, love as it was before is over. And that we love our children is normal, too, isn’t it? Even if they reject us one day.
Rejection causes damage, for sure. Whether we know it or not, our inner being is extremely vulnerable and does NOT want to suffer at all. If it has been hurt, it must protect itself, either by beating back or by building prison walls around the hurting heart.
Let’s say, someone has been rejected very often in their life and does not want to be hurt again. What will they be inclined to do in order to not be hurt again?
One possibility would be to avoid human contact and to live a lonely life where nobody can hurt you, but where, alas, is no one to comfort you when you’re sad. No encouraging word to lift you up, no tender correction when your thoughts make you feel depressed or even desperate. Indeed, if we are completely alone with our thoughts and have no one to share them with, the possibility to choose the wrong ways in life will be way higher unless…..yes, unless we have the best Counselor possible, the Holy Spirit who leads us into all the truth.
If we indeed experienced rejection very often in our past life, God will heal our wounds and lead us to brothers and sisters who will love us “through it all”. They will love us despite our mistakes, failures, overreactions or any other imperfections. We may learn from one another in such fellowships and we may carry the other when he or she is weaker just as the others will help us get up again if we stumbled and fell down.
We are all human and it is allowed to make mistakes, once, twice, three times, every day, thousands of times because the Lord is our righteousness. We might be self-righteous or malevolent, suspicious or resentful, cold-hearted or loveless. Actually, that is not our problem since Jesus came to set us free from that OLD SELF. Although the old man/woman basically died with Him on the cross 2,000 years ago, the reality of dying to our negative and sinful flesh must be experienced in our own life – today, now, every day a bit more. To be honest, it is not enough to say, “I have been raised with Christ and now I am a new creation,” if there is no evidence of it in our everyday life.
Finally, compared with our old self, how does our new self love?
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 Jn 4:7-8 ESV)
Not loving means not knowing GOD. But there is no need to go insane when we realize that there are persons we do not really love (unconditionally). This is simply our old self that cannot love selflessly because it has been hurt and its wounds have not been healed yet. In fact, in such cases there is no need to repent or to confess one’s sins, either. If we do not love like Christ does (yet), we ought to simply wait on Him who makes the impossible things possible as He said here,
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” (Mt 5:44-46 ESV)
He will even make us love those who do NOT love us in return. Do you believe this?