Written by: Megan Kincheloe
I recently had a conversation with a dear friend of mine and as she was bearing her soul, she said words that would toss around in my head day after day over the next week. She said, “Frankly, I just feel unlovable.” I am fairly certain I became a poor listener in that moment as my mind started to swirl with times I, too, have felt unlovable. Times when I was sure I didn’t say the right thing and reacted instead of responding in love. Times when I was impulsive and was sure I didn’t do the right thing or make the right choice. Times when I was unreliable and said I would do something and then failed to follow through. Times when my actions certainly were not holy and did not represent Jesus well. Times when I sinned…and then repeated the same sin again…knowing exactly what I was doing but deciding to do what was ‘fun’ or what ‘felt good’ in the moment. And these are just some of the times where my actions, or lack thereof, caused me to feel unlovable. These do not even encompass the times I have allowed something others have said to cause me to fasten that label to my forehead.
But instead of sinking into a pit of despair and allowing myself to be discouraged in my own weaknesses, I started to see others through a window of love and allowed the word ‘grace’ to seep into every space in my heart. When others are being unlovable…instead of throwing around labels or even passing judgement, what if my first response was to extend grace? What if in that very moment, I stopped and reminded myself, “At some point or another, I have resembled all of these characteristics.” And instead of huffing and puffing and allowing myself to fill up with anger, I look at that person and say, “Hang in there. Tomorrow is a new day. You are doing a really good job. Give yourself some grace.”
You see, we do have an enemy. A very real and busy enemy. But it isn’t our friend, our spouse, our kid’s teacher, our coworker, or the customer service representative on the other end of the line. Satan wants us to be hasty and reactive. Unloving and unlovable. Impulsive and distracted. And he wants us to respond negatively to others who are all of those things to us. But instead…we have the opportunity every day to choose love. A deep, abiding love. A love that doesn’t waver when someone else is having a bad day and takes it out on us. A love that doesn’t waver when someone fails to meet our expectations.
1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
Yeah, let’s love like that.