1Therefore, imitate God like dearly loved children. 2 Live your life with love, following the example of Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. He was a sacrificial offering that smelled sweet to God.
Imitate God. Live your life with love.
That’s really it, isn’t it? That is the key to being a good human! I could stop here and that could be the end of the devotion for today. It’s very straight forward, but it can be very difficult sometimes.
We often think about the “God of the Old Testament” being a vengeful God, and the “God of the New Testament” being a forgiving God, but if we look at those Old Testament stories, we see forgiveness and love and God wanting to be in relationship with people in many, many of them. God had David suffer consequences after his reckless and horrible behavior, but God forgave him, and raised him up to be a great king and the father of Solomon. God had a personal relationship with David. We see this over and over.
And God wants to be in relationship with us too. That is why Jesus didn’t just come down to earth, become the sacrifice and go back to be with God. He was born. He had parents, siblings, and friends. He knew what it was like to be in relationship with people – the good, bad, and ugly parts of relationships. And he was able to see people – to really look at them and acknowledge their humanity as a person himself. That was the plan God had so that we could be in further relationship with our Creator. This is what we are to emulate – caring for people, seeing people, loving them, and being in relationship with them. Now we know Jesus didn’t get along with everyone, but he always cared for people’s needs and treated them with respect, and Jesus gave his life for us. We may not all be called to give our lives, but we are called to treat others with respect, to help others when we can, and to see each other’s humanity. It is easy to walk past people or avoid people – we all do it, but God wants us to show love to others – even if it is just to look someone in the eye and smile and say hi, open a door, let someone out in traffic, and the list goes on. It’s simple, but not always easy to do.
by Janet Waryck
For Pondering & Prayer
Can we try to be more aware of those around us – to be more loving and more forgiving – to offer a kindness to at least one person every day?
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your love and forgiveness and for your wanting to be in relationship with us. Help us to take the opportunities you give us every day to share your love with others. Amen.