How We’re Learning
by Kori Yates
Saved by LOVE
I feel like a horrible friend. When I had a birthday, my friend remembered. She showed up at my door with thoughtful gifts of things I loved. It was special.
Now, ask me if I remembered her birthday.
I remembered like the day after and then wrote it on my calendar to run by. My day got crazy and it was a week later when I remembered again. Thinking of these special days and then thinking of a gift are not really my strong point, so I do things like this a lot.
If you think this was a random occurrence in my world, you are sadly mistaken.
My son is ten years old and wanting to test his independence so this week I let him walk to baseball on his own and planned to just have him come back to the house when he was done. Not really a bad plan, except this was his last practice and his coach used it to give out certificates and awards for the season.
As my son walked back in from practice, you can imagine that I felt like a stellar mom.
Moments like this happen in life and sometimes they are much bigger than these. When they do happen, guilt washes over me and I question how good a friend or mom I actually am. I also start to wonder what kind of Christ-follower I am if I can’t love the ones closest to me well.
Guilt. It is a struggle sometimes, but it’s not part of His plan for me to live there.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love (John 15:9).
Sometimes these moments are sin and sometimes they are simply part of being human. God is a God of love and grace, and, boy, am I thankful. His love is far beyond our imagination. He is asking us to abide, dwell, live in His love, a place of security, hope, joy, and peace. Guilt is not a part of that.
I get it; sometimes guilt is a good thing as it brings us to repentance. But more often than not for me, guilt comes because I haven’t measured up to what I expect of myself which lands pretty close to perfection.
Abiding in His love has become an intentional effort, one that is still a work in progress, but some things have helped along the way.
How to Work Through Guilt and Into Love:
- SCRIPTURE: This is the biggest one. The best way for me to remember truth is to read truth. Scripture is where that is found. Whether I find specific verses or just read, Scripture makes a difference.
- Friends: Godly friends are a must, especially if they look at you and say, “I did that just last week!” Friends who are genuine with their humanity are a blessing as I realize that others mess up sometimes too.
- Honesty: When I mess up, intentional or not, it’s best for me just to say so. Doing so puts us back in the game and makes the relationship right again.
- Love: Love is a verb. It’s something I do and something the Lord does for me. I work to love well. And although I miss the mark at times, I know God knows my heart and pray others do as well.
Have you messed up lately? Just say so! We’re all in this boat together, simply trying to follow Jesus as best we can. Take some time to ponder and hear how much the Lord loves you, mess ups and all. I know I’m grateful. Here are some verses that have helped me:
Psalm 86:15: But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Ephesians 3:14-19: For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Lord, you are a God of love. Guilt can try to creep into my heart and dwell there. Lord, use it to pull me back to you again and be reminded of your great love for me.