Yes, you can!

“Just as I loved you, you must also love one another.” (John 13:34) 

Here are some questions lawyers ask their witnesses during trial:

“Where were you when you died?”

“How far was your car when you bumped his car?”

“You told us that you forgot what happened. Can you recall how that could happen?

“When did you you have a relationship with this woman? Before or after she died?”

“You described the accused as medium height and with a beard. Was this a man or a woman?”

Absurd questions that border on the ridiculous.

Sometimes, that’s what I think when somebody asks me the question: “As a Christian, have you loved the way Jesus loved?

Absurd. Ridiculous. Improbable.

For no one could love the way my Savior loved. He was selfless. He was humble. He thought of others before himself. He never sought revenge. He was never vindictive. He didn’t enjoy slandering others. He didn’t laugh at offensive humor. He was compassionate of the poor. He understood the haughty. He was patient with the irritating. He was pure love from start to finish.

I look at my life and I am ashamed.

I am so far from the man I claim to represent as a missionary. I am self-centered, quick-tempered, impatient and sometimes, even arrogant. How can I love the way Jesus loved?

Perhaps you’ve asked yourself this same question when confronted with the gospel today where Jesus said:

“Just as I loved you, you must also love one another.” (John 13:34) 

Absurd. Ridiculous. Improbable. How can humans love the way God loves?

Nowadays, in the Philippines, when a person is asked why he made a mistake or committed a sin, the person usually blurts out a famous Filipino expression: Tao lang! — using his being human as an excuse for bad behavior.

Perhaps that’s precisely why God did what He did 2,000 years ago. We must remember that the Jesus who is asking us to love the way He loves was as human as you and me. He also had tooth aches and perhaps even ingrown toenails. He also had to burp and probably had migraine attacks. And yes, he was tempted the way we are tempted today. Tempted to be arrogant. Tempted to be self-centered. Tempted to be impatient.

But despite all the reasons not to, He still chose the way of love. Even if it hurt. Even it was inconvenient. Even if it led Him to the cross.

Tell me, if somebody asks you for directions going to a certain place and the directions are quite confusing, will you not volunteer to take the person to that place instead to make sure he gets there?

That’s what God did.

He didn’t only tell us how to love. He showed us the way to do so.

Even if human. Even if tempted. Even if afraid. Even if hurting. Jesus, as a human being, showed us the way to love.

Even if struggling. Even if weak. Even if tired. Even if  burdened. We have the capacity to love.

Yes, you can forgive that person who hurt you. You can serve that church member who never even says thanks. You can be patient with that person who makes a hobby out of criticizing everything you do. You can be patient with that boss who gives you unreasonable deadlines. You can die to yourself if only to give life to others.

Yes, Jesus showed us the pathway to love so that we humans will have the courage to walk on it.

A blessed weekend to you, my friend!

Trying hard to love the way my Master loves,

Bobby

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