Your first thoughts about love may be of romance or friendship, grace, forgiveness, or even heartbreak. As human beings we find life meaningless without it; we live and die for it. Science has even proven some amazing effects that love has on the human body. For instance, when two lovers gaze into each other’s eyes their heart rates synchronize. It is even said that love can also be a great pain reliever. Looking at a picture of your loved one after you’ve stubbed your toe for the tenth time on the corner cabinet can be a great source of relief! Truly there are so many different ways to think about love.
But when I think of love, I think of Jesus.
I often stop to ponder on the love Jesus had for the entire world, every single soul, when He died on the cross. In doing so, He came not only to reconcile us with God, but with each other as well. This in essence, created the cross. He lived, died, and rose again for this very purpose. I cannot begin to wrap my head or heart around how much love it took for Him to do what He did. As a church body and individually, Jesus calls us to action through the Word of God. Becoming a believer and having a personal relationship in Christ helps us to continue carrying out this mission as His ambassadors of love and reconciliation to the world around us. It states in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God” and in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
But let’s be real for a moment.
Nowadays, it feels like such a daunting task. With all the division that’s been happening in our country and around the world you have to wonder where did the love go? Is reconciliation even an option at this point? Of course, it is. In Acts 1:18 it states, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” To love like Jesus is not an easy task, but possible. All throughout scripture and throughout history you can find many brave souls who answered the call; many who gave their lives for it. Even now there are many brave men and women across the world today who are living, breathing examples of this kind of courageous love and reconciliation. With the help of Christ, they live unapologetic of the call placed before them every day and so can we.
For the last few months, I have come to reflect on what it truly means to love like Jesus and how I would carry out this mission of love and reconciliation in my own life. Where could I start? I remembered a book I’d read recommended by a friend titled “How To Heal The Racial Divide” by Derwin L. Gray. As we read through the book together, I began to see scripture in a different light. I began to understand the true mission of Jesus. Jesus was all about unification, reconciliation, and breaking down barriers of all kinds, including racial barriers. I realized the answer to my question of where to start was quite simple.
It starts with love. It starts by listening well and staying in the room.
Even when things were hard Jesus stayed in the room. He set the example of listening well time and time again because he understood that doing so was an act of love. Listening leads to understanding. Understanding leads to conversation. Conversation leads to healing and reconciliation. I believe that this is what the gospels are truly about.
We would do well to follow the example of Jesus by being quick to listen and slow to speak. (James 1:19). So, ask yourself if you’d be willing to love like Jesus did? Would you choose to stay in the room and to listen well? My hope is that today we can do so together in Christ.
- Lovers' Hearts Beat at the Same Rate Everyday by Scitable by Nature Education
- Falling in Love Hits the Brain like Cocaine Does by Medical News Today
- Love and Pain Relief by The New York Times
- How to Heal Our Racial Divide: What the Bible Says, and the First Christians Knew, about Racial Reconciliation by Derwin L. Gray
About the Author
Darwin Gomez is a proud Army Veteran, mother of three and married over 20 years to Ray. She currently serves at Grace Fishers as an Elder and enjoys serving her community in this capacity. Her favorite hobbies are drumming, art, working out, and pretty much anything that keeps her moving!