On Tuesday, I wrote that failing to do that which we know to do is sin (James 4:17). On Wednesday, I wrote that we are commanded to love others, and that love is choosing to live a life of self-sacrifice for all others at all costs. Today, I would suggest to you that it is impossible for you and me to love everyone all the time. The good news is that when we fail to love even our enemies, we have access to forgiveness (1 John 1:9). The great news is that even though it is humanly impossible, because we are in the Father, in Christ and in the Holy Spirit, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37; 18:27; Romans 8:9; 1 Peter 5:14; 1 John 2:24). Possible, but not probable. Therefore, the less than perfect Christian will live a life that is sort of like a roller-coaster: we love, we fail to love, we confess, we love, we fail to love, we confess. We are constantly in and out of fellowship with God and always will be in this life (Romans 7; 1 John 3:2). "It is Friday, but Sunday is coming."
I have struggled with guilt my whole Christian life. When I first accepted Christ, I loved everybody. But it didn't take long to discover the old me still existed. Religious people were the first I found it difficult to love. Notice I didn't call them Christians. They may or may not have been, but they sure knew how to quench the Spirit in me. Then there were the family members. I don't think I had better go there, on the chance that one of them will actually read one of these posts. I soon discovered that I had new enemies. As long as I was lost, we got along just fine, but as soon as I accepted Jesus, I was no longer a friend but merely someone to avoid. I read the Book of First John and as a new Christian, I began to doubt my salvation; I found it impossible to love. I pleaded with God to fill me with the Spirit that I might produce fruit, but I didn't seem to get what I longed for. I was miserable. Then it happened.
A friend of mine and I went to minister to a woman recently widowed. She had three children and in addition to her loss, she had no income. I watched as he sat at the kitchen table going over her bills. All of a sudden, I was so filled with grief, I had to leave the room. As I sat on the floor of the dining room sobbing uncontrollably, he rushed in to see what was going on. I told him I didn't know between sobs, and he asked what I was thinking about when overcome. I told him that listening to her, I felt so helpless because her situation seemed so hopeless. It was then I heard the Lord speaking to me. Yes, I know what you are thinking, but I don't care. He said to the best of my memory, "You wanted to love like I love, but you are not able to handle it. I will teach you to love a little at a time, or you will be overwhelmed. Trust Me."
I still don't love like Christ loves, but I know that He isn't surprised or disappointed. He knows me. He knows my heart, and He loves me. He will work to change me until I see Jesus face to face; then I will do the impossible, I will always love (1 John 3:2)! Oh, come Lord Jesus!