Jesus’ radical example of love is a tough act to follow. Living in a fallen world with broken people (and don’t forget about that plank in your own eye) challenges His mandate for us to love. Our selfish society tells us to cut out people who are difficult to love and live contrary to our moral values, but Jesus himself did no such thing! He sought out the morally questionable people and invited them WITH love; HIS LOVE INSPIRED CHANGE, He didn’t demand for them to change in order to be loved.
Did you know that addiction’s roots can be found in feeling unloved, leading to fear of being alone opened up and addiction providing false protection? Addiction has many faces: drugs, alcohol, pornography, work, food, gaming, exercise… they’re all used to escape the intense lie that they are unlovable. Then in response, we push these hurting people away and tell them to change before they can come back. Our response is to be counter-cultural and even counter-intuitive; sometimes they can give up the addiction we hate and replace it with one we can tolerate (like the smoker who puts on 30 pounds while quitting smoking). Sadly that just tells us that they still haven’t had a radical revelation of love, they just desperately want to lessen the rejection.
So what is Jesus asking us to do? LOVE. When their actions hurt, LOVE. When they test your limits, LOVE. Don’t play in to the enemy’s hands and be an agent of rejection; Be Jesus agent of unconditional love. (to be clear, this does not mean endangering yourself and other.) Yes, praying for them to have a revelation of love is really important. Helping them find help for their addiction is important. But did you know that Jesus asks for His chosen to be His hands and feet and even His heart to show His love through? Spend lots of time in His presence filling up your heart with His love so that everyday you can pour it out to those He has entrusted to you to show His love to. It is challenging, I won’t deny that. But it gets easier with time as we practice responding in love instead of out of our own selfish entitlement. (yes, Christians can be selfish and entitled.)
I would like to support you through your own love revolution. Comment below if you feel comfortable sharing your journey and we will pray with and for you. Or if you don’t want it to be public, pm and we’ll support you privately as well. Please “like” and “share” this post, I know there are many people out there loosing the people they love to addiction. Let’s come together to encourage one another to love and good works to those who need it most.