Love Can Hurt, What a Blessing!

1 Peter 3:8-18, 8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

Growing up I was surrounded by people who would love through service, sympathy, empathy and humility, yet be hurt by others. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the famous author of The Great Gatsby and other literary works, wrote this: “You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest and most beautiful person I have ever known---and even that is an understatement.” We’ve all known those people in our lives who are simply easy to love due to the love they pour into others and yet these people are vulnerable to hurt.

Today I have people in my life who truly love others even though they know it is going to hurt eventually. Shellie, my wife, prays daily earnestly, endlessly for others. Often, she does not know if the prayer was answered because she prays for people all over the country; the world. It is not that this intercessory prayer process is not difficult. Shellie considers it her call, her mission from the Lord out of love. So, she continues. Anthony, my son, a Senior at the University of South Carolina, is one of those rare people who really, really believes Jesus’ tenet, “We should love everyone.” We have family and friends who are moms, dads, pastors, factory workers, teachers, office workers; from every line of work. Each morning when they wake and their feet hit the floor, it is their daily call to love above all else, no matter what. These people are an inspiration to me.

The movie “I’m Not Ashamed” opens this weekend. It is the story of Rachel Scott, the first to give her life during the Columbine School tragedy on April 20, 1999. At the very end of her life, Rachel was asked one more time if she still loved her God. She gave one more “yes” before she gave her last breath. The ultimate love and sacrifice she gave; the pain is caused but the blessing it has given continues to resound today.

So, the next time we are insulted and hurt; treated in an unloving manner, remember, Jesus, the Son of God, came to this earth and was wrongfully accused, publicly humiliated, scorned, beaten beyond recognition, nailed to a cross and then gave us the greatest gift of Love He could possibly give, His Life for Eternal Life! What a blessing!

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