This morning as I read through 1 John this verse jumped out at me; “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect” (1 John 4:17a; NLT).
That is our goal as we follow Jesus, to grow perfect in our love. To grow perfect in our love for God. To grow perfect in our love for one another. We are to be God’s hands of love in this world.
How I struggle with this as a goal in my life. I want my goal to be to be made perfect in my knowledge or to be made perfect in my writing and preaching. I want people to recognize me as “spiritual,” and to be seen as a leader. The truth is I would rather no do the hard work of loving people.
Do I want to follow Jesus’ example of love? Do I want the Holy Spirit to mature me in love? There is a part of me that wants to be the guy who is able to love people and to have a compassionate heart.
Yet there is a BIG piece of me that cries out “No!” Fear floods my heart as the mere thought of disengaging from the intellectual life and engaging in the life of other people. I don’t want to get my hands messy, I don’t want to feel inadequate as I face life problems that are not easy to answer. It isn’t that I don’t want to help and serve people, it is that I don’t want to fail, I don’t want to look stupid, and I don’t want to be the fool.
The next step on this journey to be made perfect in love is to develop a compassionate heart. That is one reason Jenny is so good for me. She will force me to engage with people, to be around people, and to get me out of my comfort zone.
May I follow Jesus wherever He leads!