“When I’m not mad”
This used to be my reply to quite a number of discussions bothering on how to treat people or how to respond to how people might have treated me. (Quite frankly, it is still my reply sometimes) and I’m sure it is yours sometimes too and if it isn’t, well congrats you have matured in Gods’ school of love (of course the learning never ends but yeah, congrats still). To make this gist a bit more relatable I’ll give an example of one of the times where my reply to a discussion was “when I’m not mad”.
In 2011, I lost my dad (this is me being absolutely vulnerable which is quite difficult for me but this is what He has asked me to share so I must). Moving on, we’re an Igbo family so as is tradition we had to travel back to the village to lay him to rest and perform all the many funeral rites we Igbo’s perform. The main drift here is some people really treated us badly that year during our time in the village and it was very hurtful and I had carried this burden in my heart since and had plans that when I get old enough (which happened this year) I’d call for a meeting and let them know my mind (of course insults and a truck load of attitude was part of the plan). I was already gingered after my birthday this year, planning my speech and the different faces I’d put on whilst giving the speech and even the dress I’d wear because of course you have to slay hard for that kind of setting naw.
Anyway, all my plans got cancelled over the weekend when I was observing my quiet time and the Lord got talking. This God can be funny sometimes sha. When we started the gist, from nowhere, he just took my mind back to the time of the funeral in the village, I saw the entire event in my mind and I felt all of the pain of the ill treatment all over again and all the anger at those people and I was already getting angry like “Father why would you take me back to the worst time in my life?” and he replied “love, I want you to love them like I have loved you” and it is funny but my immediate answer was “ when it’s not that I’m mad, love who?” and he started to explain things to me in detail and after that discussion I got it and I repented of not loving people how I should as God’s child.
The major key today is John 13:34 (a new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. KJV). Here Jesus tells us to love people EXACTLY how he has loved us. Infact he commanded us. Note that he didn’t give exceptions to the kinds of people we should love. He didn’t say if they love you then you can love them as I have loved you. There was nothing like that, it was a clear,straight forward statement. Love one another as I have loved you. Shikena! How did/does Jesus love you? Well you already know this. He sold out to you and gave his life for you even if you didn’t or don’t care. meaning “the quality of your response to me does not determine the amount of love I have for you”.
Do you now see the kind of love you should have for everyone? If you don’t still get it, let’s bring it down a little more.
This love looks something like this, you throw a mad surprise party for a friend’s birthday, spend a serious amount of money to make the day as memorable as can be for this person and this person totally forgets yours and you don’t hate him or her and decide not to even buy the person any presents when its Christmas time instead you even purpose in your heart to buy him or her an even more beautiful present for Christmas even if they again might not buy you any why? Because Jesus could have easily forgotten you or even hated you for acting like his dying on the cross is just ‘beans’, but he chooses to keep loving you every day. Another angle would be when some girl in your class just comes with a false accusation that you said something you didn’t say and she of course does this the loudest way she can with maximum insults to humiliate you. Your human nature will of course want you to give it back to her as hot as she dished it to you. I mean why wouldn’t you “when you’re not mad” right? But guess what? Christ’s love contradicts your human nature and natural feelings and in such situations responds with something supernatural.
I’m saying all these not because I have it all together. I haven’t gotten to the level of expressing such extreme “unreasonable” love but I want to and from the depth of my heart I ask God to REDUCE ME TO LOVE. I hope you pray this prayer as well because I’m praying for you that you do. Imagine a world where we all display this love as we are commanded. Just imagine…
Inside Info: Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.- George Bernard Shaw.