When Love Is a One-Way Street
Bible Reading: John 1:10-13
Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted. John 1:11
After years of being the only boy on the block, Trent whooped when he found out a boy his age was moving in four houses away. The day Daniel arrived, Trent invited him over. They biked the neighborhood, shot hoops at the playground, and tossed a baseball in Trent’s backyard.
Daniel was as big on baseball as Trent was. And he really liked Trent’s glove. It was so soft it wrapped around the ball all by itself.
One evening when Daniel had to head home for supper, he asked if he could borrow Trent’s glove. “Sure,” Trent said.
The next morning Trent ran to Daniel’s house to fetch his glove. That’s when Daniel admitted he had left the glove out in the rain overnight. Both of them knew that when the glove dried it would be as stiff as a slab of oak.
You don’t have to love people for very long to figure out that sometimes your kindness is taken advantage of, ignored, or even tossed back in your face. Like this:
• You volunteer to feed, exercise, and even pick up after a friend’s dog when your friend heads out of town. But your friend won’t ever look after your big, slobbering, mess-making doggy.
• You spend hours picking out the perfect birthday present for a friend. But your friend totally forgets your birthday.
• You hustle to get all your homework done so you can spend Saturday afternoon with a friend. At the last minute your friend calls to say he spent the morning goofing off. He can’t play now.
That’s the kind of treatment that tempts us to quit looking for opportunities to love our friends. But genuine love doesn’t expect a payback.
God loves us no matter how we treat him. Think about how Jesus showed love for others. He knew Judas would betray him, but he loved him and called him to be a disciple anyway. As he hung on the cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive these people, because they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Christ died for all people, even those who turn their back on him.
Love gives because it cares about others—period. Whether or not its actions or words are appreciated, love keeps on giving.
TALK: How has God loved you even when you snubbed him? How can you show that kind of love to others?
PRAY: Lord, help us to love and keep on loving—like you do—no matter what.
ACT: When someone is rude to you today, pay it back with an act of love.