Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt – week 1
Pastor Curt Vignery | Pastor Jonathon O’Reilly
There is a section of verses in Corinthians that teach us about love. These verses talk about love being patient and kind, about it not holding grudges and rejoicing in the truth. This is also where we learn that love never fails.
In this new series, we’ll be learning what that actually means, and how we can love with a love that never fails despite hurt we have experienced. We will learn to love like we’ve never been hurt.
Paul urges us to follow God’s example of love. He tells us to be imitators of God, to love others like He loved us. Which is exponentially harder in practice than it is in theory. Because the truth is that we will experience hurt, rejection, unkindness. God does not promise a life of easiness. Instead, he calls us to embrace the mess. He calls us to be able to experience great hurt, but to choose love anyway. Because love never fails.
First, we have to quit picking at it. Like a scab that we won’t let heal, often we cling to our wounds. We just cannot let them heal. We pick and we pick, we relive, we fester in anger and justification.But we have to quit picking at them. We have to allow the grace of God to heal them. We have to allow scars to be built over our wounds. These scars do not have to be a reminder of our wounds, instead, we can allow them to be reminders of the hope that restores, the Father that heals, the mercy that makes us new.
Second, we have to let go of our rights. Hurt is (often times) justified. We have every right to be offended, to be hurt, and to be angry about it. But when we refuse to let go of that offense or hurt, we become stuck. And the ones that hurt us continue to have power over our lives because of this. Yes, hurt comes and yes, we can be mad about it, and yes, it changes things. But we still have the choice to trust in the plan of our Creator. We still have the choice to love. Our right (to be mad, hurt, angry, offended) does not change the responsibility we have to love.
Third, we have to kiss and make up. Our unwillingness to give grace like we receive grace causes us to be held hostage by the enemy. So, instead of holding on to hurt, we have to be willing to reconcile. After all, where would we be without Jesus embracing us with love every single time we have hurt Him. Like the Father welcoming the prodigal son home, we too can embrace one another with a love that covers hurt.
What do you want to be known for? For being someone who holds onto hurt? Someone who is angry over offenses? Someone who is unable to let their wounds heal? Or, do you want to be known as someone who loves with a fierce love? Someone who forgives and loves even stronger, despite hurt?
Love is always the answer. Love never fails, never disappoints, never surrenders. So we choose love over hurt, over fear, over intolerance, over unforgiveness, over hate. It’s that simple. It’s choosing to love over and over and over again.