I’ve struggled with what it truly means to love as Jesus loved. Many days, I confuse love with kindness and kindness with being polite. I want to be loving all the time. But why? I say it’s because Jesus loved in this way, but it’s probably more so because I want people to like me.
My heart has felt real conviction over this in recent years. My attempts to be “loving” turned out to simply be a mask that I was wearing. I will admit that my shield of niceness has prevented me from being known on a deeper level and likewise from knowing others on a deep level. I have found myself complaining about feeling alone at times. This has probably resulted from the walls of protection I have built through the language of niceties.
I’ve been studying closely the language Jesus used with those who came into His life while He lived on this earth. His love had full depth because He didn’t put up walls…He tore down walls to be closer with people. He was honest and His word and advice could be trusted. He encouraged the world to seek deeper love in the Father. His love meant sacrificing Himself for the world. He came that we might know Him. The real Him. No walls. No masks. Just Him.
Jesus says this to the Father on our behalf, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” If you are hiding behind the language you use, I encourage you today to step out in the language of truth. That you might be known deeper and that you might know others deeper. Jesus talks about being one with the Father and His desire for us to also be as one. How can we do this if we don’t really know each other or if we aren’t willing to be known?
Our identities are in Christ, and if that is our truth, then we can be brave enough to face imperfection in this world because Jesus was brave enough to be real with us. He spoke truth, He loved deeply, and He allowed Himself to be judged by a world who had no right to judge Him. He was open and honest at all times. I’m thankful for my God who doesn’t wear a mask, who doesn’t hide from me. I pray He helps me to become more like that, that He helps me to love more like Jesus.