Love is not always received in the same way that it is given. Love is selfless, and so we must work to better receive love in the way it is shown and expressed, and be perceptive to those ways, but also help others to grow in recognizing and sharing the way we show our own love.
The other day, I went over to a friend’s house. Long story short, I had believed that I was flattering her in my words instead of speaking sincerely, trying to fill a void in her heart for the love of the Lord with my own efforts, or so I thought. You see, the way that I best am able to share difficult or scary things is through texting, that is the way I am able to speak most boldly and fearlessly, because seeing people face to face terrifies me. But that is not everyone’s love language, and it really ended up hurting a friend of mine.
At first I was angry and hurt that she did not see the love I had poured into texting her. I was uncertain of whether I was at fault, or she was, but it is not so very black and white. I could have asked the Lord for wisdom and prayed before I reached out to her, and asked her if it was okay to text her something difficult. She could have asked if we could talk on the phone about it. We could both have met each other in the middle in order to help one another grow. But, I messed up and I hurt someone I loved. Such is true of me as I am a sinner. Yet as my sister in Christ, the Lord calls me to fight for her and continue to love even when it hurts, and my oh my has it been beautiful.
Throughout the day as I cried out to the Lord for wisdom and in deep sorrow, He softened my heart towards gratitude: thankfulness that my friend loved me enough to share how she felt, because she loved me too much to leave me as I was.
My mother used to say that to me whenever I did things wrong, and would begin to cry and pity myself: I love you too much to leave you as you are, and want you to be better. Those words may cut and sting at first, but I pray that the Lord would humble me to receive wisdom from others and know more of Him.
And isn’t that how God loves me: too much to leave me as I am. And so when He disciplines, convicts, and refines me through trials, may I rejoice and be grateful for the great love that He has for me to work on me and shape me to be more like Him.