Recently, in my studies, I came across the idea that God created mankind to be His ‘imagers.’
In other words, His plan is for us to reflect His image through our unique lives.
Jesus was the exact representation of Papa, but we are designed to reflect Papa’s image to those around us.
How do we do that?
Well, Jesus tells us that what makes Christian’s unique is our expression of Agape.
Most Christians who have heard of this Greek word would simply define it as unconditional love.
That’s a fair definition, but I think we need to see agape in action to really see it’s unique qualities.
The best definition that I’ve come across is this:
When I choose to set aside my self-interests to serve the best interests of another no matter how much it costs me (and it will) and not matter how they treat me in return (that’s the really hard part).
It’s easy to love those who give love back, but how about when you get pain and rejection back?
Not so easy!
Jesus took it so far as to command us to love our enemies! Why?
Because that is how He loved us as Paul stated in Romans 5 that while we were His enemies, Jesus died for us.
Beloved, apart from Jesus, we cannot love with agape.
It’s the fruit of the Spirit; it’s first on Paul’s list and the other fruits emanate out of agape.
It is only when we look to Jesus to meet our personal need for agape that we are able to abundantly receive His never-ending agape and allow it to overflow to those around us — even to those who are against us.
Agape is not something we can muster up.
It is the love we receive by faith from Jesus that fills us and overflows through us.
This does not mean that we should like how others mistreat us.
It means that Jesus gives us His eyes to see their brokenness and His love to sustain us when they reject us.
Now, this isn’t so hard when it’s a stranger, but when it’s your spouse or parent, the battle to walk in the Spirit instead of reacting in our flesh intensifies.
It genuinely hurts when someone as close as a spouse rejects us.
So, what do we do?
First, we set our minds on the truth that Papa’s love is more than enough to satisfy our needs.
Second, we maintain a dialogue with Papa and use our shield of faith to snuff out the fire of our loved one’s actions and/or comments.
This means we are quick to forgive and give over the pain caused by their reactions.
Our flesh will want to react with countermeasures that escalate the conflict not bring peace to it.
Learn to dialogue with Papa by simply asking Him in your spirit, “Papa, what do you think about that? (what the person said or did) Papa will always establish your thoughts with His and pour healing balm on the wound they inflicted.
This will help minimize the damage and enable you to see from God’s perspective.
It’s not easy because our flesh will want to trigger and ‘protect’ us, but all our flesh will do is add to our pain….and theirs too.
So Beloved, rest and receive Papa’s great agape love for you and reflect His image by letting it overflow to those around you.