Happy New Year! I really can't believe that it's already 2017. Last year flew by so quickly I feel like I blinked twice and it was over. As I start on this trek that is the new year I do so with a resolve to live life a little differently.
In 2017, before anything else, I want to love God and people well. For so long I've been the type of person that simply returned the love I was given. I showed people the kindness and the love that they showed me and never sought to surpass their level of affection.
If someone was mean to me or didn't go out of their way to be nice then I wouldn't go out of my way either. I've never felt bad about loving people conditionally, until now. For the last few months I haven't been able to shake the sense that I'm doing a disservice to myself and others with the way that I love.
It's risky to love people. If I'm speaking for just myself, it's hard to put my heart on the line especially when I'm not sure if my feelings are going to be reciprocated or even welcomed.
For a while now, I've really been trying to reflect and embody the life of Christ. The more that I dive into the example of Jesus, the more I realize that loving without any expectations of what you'll get in return was his specialty.
When I look at scripture, when I evaluate the life of Christ and the way that God loves, it's very clear and without question that God loves without condition. He loved us so much that he gave his son to die for our sins so that we could, if we so choose to accept it, have eternal life.
I can't imagine giving my life for someone who would never appreciate it, never acknowledge it, never thank me for it...yet that's what Christ did. Jesus gave his life so that humans like you and I, would have a chance at eternal life if we wanted it. Jesus had no guarantees that people would accept his offer or love him in return and he died anyway. Despite the uncertainty, despite the pain, Jesus loved us anyway.
I feel like I'm at a crossroad in my life and my walk of faith. I can't continue to love with condition. I can't keep being the person that only puts their heart on the line when it's safe. I can't do all of those things and continue to call myself a follower of Christ. I just can't do it.
This year won't be easy. It will be a journey of putting my feelings and everything that 27 years of living in this world has taught me aside in order to love people the way that Christ loves me. To be a vessel of Christ's love with every person that I come in contact with. It won't be something that I'm perfect at or that I get down in a day but it's something that I'm committed to, something that I won't give up on.
So cheers to loving people and God well. May we embody his sacrifice, his grace and his approach at life. May we aim to love without condition and project that love into the lives of everyone we encounter.