Every year, during this time, my husband always pray about the next year’s vision for our church. This year, he introduced us to three Ls – Love. Live. Light. Over the past few days, I have really honed in on the word “love.” And, I have thought about it in the context of unconditional love. What if we were able to love as Jesus Christ loved us. What would every home look like? What would every church look like?
What would every heart look like?
Think about that!
What would every heart look like? Why is it so vital for us to protect our hearts? Because whatever we allow to be rooted in our heart will determine what we will eventually become. Proverbs 27:19 puts it this way: “As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.” Also consider what Jesus said: “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
Now! Think about a stagnate point or lake. If you walked right up to the edge and bent over some, you’ll quickly notice the tadpoles or the little minnows swimming around quickly going absolutely nowhere. Then, you’ll suddenly notice your reflection according to how the sun is shining. The water is just like a mirror. It doesn’t lie. At that moment, if you studied your reflection, you would notice very distinct details about your hair, your body size, and your ears. The water is giving you a true reflection of who you are.
Let me take it a step further. After looking closely at the tadpoles, minnows and the pondweeds, did you take a closer look at how dirty the pond or lake was?
Could that stagnate pond or lake reflect how dirty your heart is?
Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
I’m convinced that our heart is a place where good and evil can grow. Therefore, we have to watch the conversations we choose to participate in with our mouths. Every time we speak evil or good words, we are literally planting seeds in our hearts [soil].
So back to my question, “What would every heart look like, if we loved people unconditionally? Ouch!
I believe we would live in a perfect world, but we don’t. Nonetheless, what if we practice loving others, the way that Jesus loved us? My mother often said, “If you don’t have anything good to say, then, don’t say anything at all.” I’m sure someone has told you the same thing at some point. That’s totally how we should live our lives.
God has called my husband and me into full-time ministry. We have met so many hurting people. Boy! They’re hurting in their families, in their marriages, with their children, careers, and in their minds. Yet, every terrible situation my husband and I have encountered. we have guarded our hearts. We have been asked often.
“How do you love people so unconditionally? Our response is: “We simply love people the way that Jesus Christ loves us. It’s not our love to give; it’s God’s love. When it’s God’s love, you can’t decide how and when you’re going to share it.” I can’t say that we don’t feel hurt when we don’t get the same in return. We’ve learned to allow God to give us the peace we need that surpasses all understanding.
The next time you are in a conversation with someone and you don’t like what they are saying. Screaming! “Shut-up! I’m guarding my heart.” Well! You don’t have to scream, but it’s just that serious because the more you allow words [seeds] to be planted in your heart about others. Those seeds will eventually show up in your relationships, how you feel about your children, spouse, career, and so on.
My husband and I have practiced the gift of love for many many years. It’s not easy, but worth it. We have practiced loving people unconditionally, and not allowing others to have dirty conversations around us about other things that don’t edify other people
I hope you come along with me and practice loving Jesus and guarding your heart, so you too can learn to love others unconditionally. That’s what Jesus Christ did for us.