“My nature, what comes naturally to Me [God], is to live for the well-being of others at any cost to Myself. Your nature, what comes naturally to you, is to live for your own well-being at any cost to Me or to others. My nature, the holy inclination to love, is now in you. When you relate in the energy of that inclination, you are relating not naturally but supernaturally, above and in conflict with your natural inclination. Expect a battle.”
~ From 66 Love Letters, by Larry Crabb Jr., p. 335
God’s nature is to love. Every thought, every decision, every action He takes is motivated by love for us. But my nature is to love myself ahead of loving God or others.
I know, I know; I’m a pastor. But I am first and foremost a fallen and broken human being. I want to love God and others more than myself and sometimes I do. But it doesn’t come naturally. It doesn’t come easily. And it doesn’t happen overnight. As Richard Rohr puts it:
We live a long time in order to become lovers. God is like a good parent, refusing to do our homework for us. We must learn through trial and error. We have to do our homework ourselves, the homework of suffering, desiring, winning and losing, hundreds of times.
Some people are easy to love. Some people are difficult to love. A few… almost impossible to love. And yet, we are called to love everyone as our heavenly Father loves. Seem like too much to ask? Don’t know where to begin? That’s OK. It happens as we humble ourlseves and ask God for grace to love as He loves. But as Larry warns…
Expect a battle!