“ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ” ( 1 Corinthians 13 : 4-7 )
Putting others’ best interests before one’s own is best described by Jesus’ act of salvation. The greatest act of love the world will ever know .
Acts of giving without expecting a reward are the purest kind of love that was printed onto our human nature by the one that created it . God is loving and always giving .
He is also the greatest teacher who knows all his students by name and a parent who allows the necessary space for his children to grow. Parents who tolerate mistakes train their young ones to choose well for themselves. These children grow up confident and unhesitant because they were praised for their right choices and took responsibility for their bad ones ( link to Love VS Freedom article). Trials and hardships are only the natural consequence of bad choices and should not be looked at as the wrathful punishment sent from above.
“ For God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” ( James 1 : 13 )
Like a father who humorously throws his child up in the air and in a second catches him again (a famous game that ends up with everyone laughing ).
God does the same when He seems to have forsaken his children. That tiny second we are up in the air is the only moment we feel alone, but in fact God’s loving hands are always there to catch us providing safety and protection.
“ for a brief moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.”
( Isa 7 : 54 )
Adam and Eve and the Freedom of Choice
“ And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
( Genesis 1 : 26 )
From the very first moment God loved us there was respect. God loved Man and so created him in a perfect environment. Then God gave Man a job and that was to keep that environment. In that perfect place God was protecting Man from a different environment to which he was not created. But God never meant to keep Man at Eden; God wanted Adam and Eve to make the choice of staying safe and well cared for on their own.
When Man chose to know more, they were allowed, little that they knew that they were choosing hard labor over comfort and growing up over staying children, and God almighty, the loving father, watched in pain as his own creation chose else.
One of the many images in the bible that describes the kind of love God is always offering us is the one in (Revelation 3:20) where God is portrayed standing outside the doors of our hearts, knocking.
“ Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
Thank you God for your love; for it does not dishonor others and is not self-seeking.
The one who sacrificed himself for all humanity is standing outside our doors with patience and humility waiting for us to open our hearts and our life for him to be part of it. Respect is the way HE loves us. He knows exactly what we need, always offering us our salvation and waiting for us to choose it, and whenever there is a will God is truthful to visit our lives with His grace and dwell in our hearts forever.