I've been on a journey - a journey of learning to love the unlovely (you may remember me talking about it back here at the start of the year).
Really loving people can be seriously difficult sometimes, especially when you try to do it in your own strength (and when the people in question are not easy to love).
Letting Jesus love people through you is a whole different story though - because He is Love... pure love.
While on my journey, there has been one simple phrase that has transformed my perspective on loving others. Thanks to my darling soul-mate, I often get reminded of this phrase while complaining, getting suspicious or despairing over people. I am reminded that "love hopes for the best".
What an inspiring thought... "love hopes for the best". Love doesn't think the worst about people, it doesn't get all suspicious, it doesn't plan for the very worst outcome, and it certainly doesn't throw away any chance of a change in a persons character.
Love hopes for the best.
Imagine what our world would look like if we all just started to hope for the best in people. Imagine if each and every person was encouraged and inspired, rather than criticized and demeaned. What would our cities be like if hope and love were spread over them like a salve to the soul.
I really do think we would see some changes. Actually, I know we would.
It all has to start somewhere - with someone... and that person is me (ahem... and you too).
"...let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions" 1 John 3:18
Photos via here.