Loving Like Jesus Loves

Through the pandemic, I fell into a rut of being frustrated by the actions and behaviors of those around me–those in my home, my church, and on my TV.

Although I didn’t grasp just how stuck I was over the last two years, I did realize that something was stealing my joy. Then the Lord used something I was doing for others this year to reveal where I was wrong.

I have the privilege of teaching a Life Group here at Bellevue. We began a challenge for each member of our Life Group to watch The Chosen at home with their family and discuss it to build their children’s faith. For eight Sundays, we watched snippets, gleaned key learnings, discussed Scripture, and applied the truths to our lives.

What I was reminded of as I watched each episode, is that Jesus looks first at the person, not their actions or behaviors–the exact opposite of the rut I had fallen into.

As season one of The Chosen outlines the story of the Bible, the loving and gentle nature of Jesus is beautifully depicted in how He interacts with three people. Rather than be repulsed by her as others were, Jesus lovingly rescued and restored the once demon-possessed Mary Magdalene. Instead of shunning Matthew as his family and fellow Jews had done, Jesus lovingly welcomed him as one of His disciples. Opposite to those who were frustrated with Peter’s self-sufficiency, Jesus lovingly called him to become one of His closest followers.

The biblically-based series artistically depicts how family, friends, and foes were all focused on the actions and behaviors of Mary Magdalene, Matthew, and Peter–except for Jesus. Jesus did not allow His love to be distracted by what these three did; instead, Jesus was focused on who He created them to be.

The Lord used these episodes to speak to me. I need to love like Jesus loves rather than focus on actions and behaviors.

As the Lord helps me love more like Him, I experience more joy and hopeful expectations of what God will do in the lives of those I encounter. Join me in striving to love people like Jesus loves rather than focusing on their actions and behaviors.

For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7