My estranged friend called today. He wanted to know why I failed to wish him a happy birthday when he celebrated few days ago.
“No call or text?” He asked.
“I knew you’d get lots of those” I replied, “So I chose to pray for you instead”
I decided to keep it short but that wasn’t all I had to say. I decided to spare him the venom of my tongue that will leave me guilty for God knows how long.
Why would I give you a thing again in my life? You ingrate! I gave you the best I could, yet you threw it all in my face. Unless you’d die without my supply, am I so dumb as to ever give you a thing again?
I sighed as I watched the bitterness hidden in the crevices of my heart swell up again.
Unforgiveness, I thought I had I’d gotten rid of you.
As I pondered on this and the many loves I was regretting in my life, a few things about love dawned on me, which I want to share today. You may be familiar with them already, but a reminder can only do you good.
(The word “love” as will be used here refers to love shown towards man in the general sense, be it family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, etc. When it’s romantic, I specify)
- When we love, we live in God and God lives in us. In essence, our mouths, hands and feet become God’s whenever we show love.
“God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dewlleth in God and God in him”
-1 John 4:16b
- Though God is love, His love was not received by all when He came to Earth as man (Jesus). He was misunderstood by the Pharisees, betrayed by his friends and at last sentenced to death by the ones who should have known better.
- In spite of this, He defied human nature and refused to get bitter or less loving because He understood that the reward of a person who truly loves is a dwelling place in God, not the acknowledgement or reciprocation of men. So though it will be a plus if love is appreciated or reciprocated, it should never be the aim of showing true love. After all, if we would receive our wages from men, why does God need to pay us Himself?
- Some people would never be grateful. If they need what you have, give them anyway.
- Never ever regret having loved someone. They may have taken advantage of you or proven undeserving. Either way, you must remember that love is a seed that doesn’t always sprout where sown. Somewhere on your life’s journey, you will find a tree offering shade and food and you will not know it’s the product of the seed you thought was lost.
- Expectations…of gratitude…of reciprocation…are lethal to the love life of any man, since if the recipients of our love don’t meet our expectations, we want to withdraw it. However, if love not reciprocated breaks your heart so, walk away so you can stay whole to love those who need you. But as you go, never for a second regret being the hands, feet and mouth of the Creator of the Universe; for that was what you were in loving them. It doesn’t matter if they realize or not.
- Love freely. Love relentlessly. Love everyone, but in the right way. You want to love someone whom your loyalty towards would not compete with your loyalty towards God. Love wisely. In romantic love, be careful not to give your heart when they have neither asked for it nor agreed to cherish it, if placed in their hands. You don’t want a broken heart or one weathered by rejection.
- Finally, you have hardly begun to follow Christ if giving something that may never be repaid has not become a way of life.
Although this new line of thought is yet to rescind my decision on how I’ve chosen to deal with this my estranged friend, I think it will it will muster a smile on my face, rather than a hiss from my lips whenever a thought of him pops up again.
I believe that as we permit gratitude for the memorable days to infiltrate the walls of our hearts, the hurt will sooner give way.