“Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. ‘I’ll do the judging,’ says God. ‘I’ll take care of it’.” ~Romans 12:17-19 (Msg).
The war between the flesh and the Spirit continues through our lifetimes. God is love and God requires that we epitomise this mode of the Divine character—to follow in the Saviour’s stead. Pleasing God, therefore, is both a day-by-day challenge and opportunity.
We can love but—due character weakness, instinct, or lack of foresight—often we don’t.
Love can be seen as the biggest test of life. When we achieve love we have conquered evil in this world, at least as it temporarily tempts to thwart us.
Achieving ‘the Possible’ More Consistently
Every Christian can believe that love is possible at any time. To rather discover the beauty in someone than hit back when they have betrayed us is possible. To get along with everybody is possible. To resist getting even when there’s ample opportunity is, also, possible.
And we probably do these things occasionally.
Our biggest growth opportunity as Christians stands on the ground of consistency; to be consistently patient, kind, humble, compassionate, empathetic... to be more consistently loving.
We know when we’ve established a practice by the fact of our reliability to reproduce, time and again, those hard things we set out to achieve.
The Spirit’s power helps us to love, yet the flesh frustrates our consistency. But, if we understand that a foci of taking life just a moment at a time is all it takes to string one loving act to another and then to another, we can nullify the flesh.
There’s one crucial factor, though, we haven’t discussed—a God-dynamic implicit in the motion of life when we comprehensively give our will over to the Lord. A miracle occurs within us.
The Mystery of God When We Submit to Love
How wonderful the blessing of surrendering our own needs when we know that God will fill them in his time. Love in a practical world is more than living a moment at a time and watching ourselves prudently.
The miracle that occurs, perhaps at a soul level, makes the act of sacrifice more natural than we ever felt it could be. It’s got to be God! We couldn’t feel this way, otherwise.
How do we analyse the mysteriousness in a miracle? How can we define or specify it? We cannot. But what we can do is act in faith. We can trust the mystery. The mystery is utterly reliable. God vindicates the faithful; always has, always will.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham