One of the best gifts I’ve ever received was the gift to love. I remember being a little girl in the grocery store with my mom, and there would stand a person I did not know. It was my norm to ask them, “What’s your name? Do you have a husband?” Not sure why this mattered, but the thing that always followed was, “You’re so pretty, I LOVE YOU!” Loving people is something from which I get so much joy. This innate desire I have to give people what God gave to me that changed my whole world—his unconditional love, has always been a place of fulfillment for me. On the contrary,  It has also been an area in my life where I have experienced great pain. Have you ever heard people say, that your gift often times can be an area of weakness as well? I felt that way for a lot of years.

 

Not being perfect like my Daddy in heaven, Some of my attempts to love people well just didn’t turn out so the way I intended. With my best intentions, I like all humans, get it wrong sometimes. With that in mind, I have been challenged by God to do this thing that seemed  so unfair when I initially heard God say it, but I want to share it with you all! He said, “Jackie, LOVE ANYWAY!” Yep that’s right! No matter how bad people may have disappointed you, mishandled your trust, or caused you pain; always remember that they are still in need of love! God revealed to me that the ability to love people when they didn’t make the choice you wanted, to not be indifferent about them and to continue to pray for the very best for them. That is what makes us like him. Do you remember in the word when it says that people will know you are a true follower of Jesus, based on your ability to love one another! God’s expectation for us to love people even through tears and pain doesn’t change! He gives us the strength we don’t have in our natural man: to forgive and Love Anyway! The “anyway” part is what goes beyond the wrongdoing, to see the person’s need despite our own desires! Sounds like a Jesus move right! That’s exactly what it is! This call to love anyway isn’t something you will ever be able to accomplish GENUINELY without God being the source!

 

I challenge each of you! No matter what the situation was or how it made you feel,  LOVE ANYWAY! Ask God to give you the strength to give this type of love! You will never know how powerful the gift of loving people despite their flaws is, until you chose to! Unless of course you actually look back in the mirror and remember how many times God has done this very thing for you! It’s a beautiful thing to love! I’m grateful I recognize now that this is truly the mark of the Father being my Father, and I never see it as anything but a blessing! I chose to LOVE ANYWAY!

 

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