Faith, Relationships

The Full Circle Reach of Messy Love

1 John 3:16

Well. Yes. I know. Messy love one more time. Without this one last surge, it’s left open-ended. Closure needs to be done. And, it involves each one of us.

Just as we embrace that we are loved with a messy love, we are to extend love to others with the SAME messy love.

Our family, even the ones that drive us insane!

Our neighbor who never mows their lawn.

Our friends.

Our co-worker who is so needy and insecure.

Our children who spill milk and throw tantrums and have a slow learning curve.

The checker at the groecery store who seems a bit gripy and doesn’t extend the customer service expected.

We are to love like God loves us. Messy.

Here are 5 ways to give messy love:

1.  Unconditional love for my husband doesn’t depend on what he does for me or how he affirms me. Unconditional love is extended towards that difficult family member who is

just plain ugly, will never change, and is impossible to love.

2.  I am to rejoice with the truth that messy love doesn’t turn a blind eye to sin. I address and discipline my child even when I am so exhausted from the day of 100 “no’s.”  I am not a messy love doormat. It’s true: I forgive but I may not trust. I am confident because I am loved, therefore, I can extend this same love to you.

3.  I am to have a persevering messy love that keeps on day after day, even when I’m weary. Even when I’m hurt. Even when there is not response or change. My love will endure.

4.  I am to extend a love that never fails, never gives up, that is always there.  Every morning you get up, love will be there. Love will cover my emotions in my reaction to your behavior.

5.  I am to forgive. Forgive my messy self and accept God’s powerful forgiveness for me! Forgive you, not hold a grudge or attempt to punish you for the legitimate harm you have caused. I will let that seething bitterness go.  All it does is dig root in my life and break my “filter.”

I am to love like thatBut I can’t do it in my own strength.  That’s when the full circle comes around. I can do it as I allow Jesus to love through me. And, so can you.

I am a mess.

I am a loved mess.

I am to love other messes.

Hosea

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