How Can I Die to Self and Love a Little More Like Jesus?
Her fierce little eyes glared at me across the crowded hospital cafeteria. I felt the heat rising into my cheeks with each angry word she shouted. Although her words were in Bulgarian, there was no doubt this little girl was cussing her mama out! And my ability to love more like Jesus was wavering.
Her red punch splattered across the floor, she blamed it on me. I hadn’t touched the drink, much less spilled it, but that was irrelevant in her eyes.
In the eyes of my daughter, I was at fault for everything wrong in her life. Even though I knew the trauma she lived before becoming a part of our family, I felt defeated. I think I’ve shed a million tears over the years as I’ve prayed and begged God to help my daughter recognize my love, rest in the safety of it, and find it in her heart to love me back.
But, friend, the truth is that loving well often cuts deep. (more on our adoption story here)
What Does God Say About Loving More Like Jesus?
God doesn’t call us to love only those who are appropriately grateful, who will love us in return, or those we deem deserving. Loving well means digging into the tough stuff and making hard decisions. It’s messy and often painful. But it’s far more difficult in reality than it is on paper.
But God’s love is a different kind of love. He takes what is broken and gives new life.
He began teaching me how to love, sacrifice, and fight for our daughter even if she never loved me back. God began teaching me in a new and different way, how to die to self and love like Jesus.
The details of your story may be different. But chances are you’ve experienced a time when it hurt to love. Maybe you’ve struggled with your rebellious teenager who has turned from you and God and is walking a dangerous path. It could be your spouse, friend, work, church, or anywhere you’ve invested yourself and your heart.
Friend, we are wired for love. Not just to receive love. But to give love, as well.
However, when we rely on that need to be fully met by earthly means or of our own strength, we have a problem. Human love is imperfect. It’s not God’s love. Our love is fickle and eventually falls short.
God’s love shines brightest in the darkest places. He reaches into pain and guides us out with the light of His love.
God fills our hurting places, giving us the strength to love well. And He reminds us that when those we love cannot return our love as we need them to, He can.
The enemy tries to tell us differently. He wants to distract us from the unconditional love of God. He wants to pull our eyes off Jesus so that we will lose hope and believe lies.
When others betray us, forget us, or fail to acknowledge us, Jesus doesn’t. He will never betray or forget us. And He will always acknowledge us when we go to Him.
While you are there, you will want to explore not only Lyli’s series, but her whole site! She is a trusted writer and speaker of God’s Truth.
Your joy isn’t dependent on your circumstances. As a matter of fact, it’s something far deeper — more meaningful and everlasting than happiness. The encouragement I share in this place and on all my social media channels equips you to live with that kind of joy every day.
I’d love to be a part of your journey toward a deeper faith. One that nourishes your heart and helps you experience the fullness of God’s love.
You can start by joining thousands of others who are discovering God, their identity as His child, and how to live with confidence, joy, peace, and HOPE! Just fill out the form below!
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You told my story exactly. It’s so hard to love and not receive anything but anger and rejection back. Thank you for the reminder that I get all the love I need from God. SD always, perfect timing for me today to hear your message. ❤
Oh, friend, you have so encouraged my journey in learning to love with His strength and have my all be met by Him alone. That God gave us you just in that perfect timing is evidence alone of Him, His goodness, and His help along the way. Sending you much love!
In the gospel of Luke we reminded to be different by loving those who make it literally impossible to love them. Well impossible in our own strength, but very possible with the Lord, which separates us from those who do it know Him
Amen! Beautifully said, friend! ❤ Thanks so much for joining me here today!
Thank you for sharing your heart and bring such encouragement to us all. Your words were exactly what I needed to hear today.
Thank YOU, Lyli! I’m so glad you were encouraged. I pray God uses my words to His glory