By Jessica Bonar
When I pray, I often ask that God would help me to love others in a way that represents his love for us. That He would help me to be an extension, or a representation, of the pure love that He has for each of us. Not a bad idea…a solid request! But in that “simple” request there is so much weight.
God has a love for me (and you) that is unique.
He loves everything that I am AND everything I am not.
He does not love me in spite of what I am not. There is no side-by-side list of the pros and cons of loving me. His love is not conditional. His love is not selective. His love is not exclusive. He LOVES.
Romans 8:39 says “neither height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Pretty spectacular right!
Personally, I have spent a LOT of my life thinking about what I am not. And frankly if we’re being honest, I have made the list in my head for others too. What they are not. How they are missing the mark. What they aren’t doing. How they aren’t measuring up.
For those of you shaking your head right now, ready to throw stones in judgement, I suggest that you stop and think for a minute. Have you ever thought about a friend, brother, sister, parent, child or a spouse and started collecting resentment about how they aren’t doing what you wish, want, hope, like, etc.? Yes…I know…we all have. (Put the stone down.)
Truth of the matter is, that I don’t like feeling this way. I don’t like the frustration that builds inside me when these thoughts of what others lack surface in my mind. These are often the people closest to me. The people I love the most. These are the people who God has blessed me with…not that I would judge, but that I would LOVE. Therefore, I seek the help of God. I make the simple, but substantial request. I ask him to help me to be a representation of His love.
I ask Him to help me to love those that I encounter for everything that they are AND everything they are not.
“I am no longer going to let the fear and apprehension of who I’m not keep me from being who I am in Christ.” This was the turning point prayer for Jessica. The day she embraced the loud and unceasing promptings that she use her gifts for the purposes of God. With a desire to share the message of the redemptive power of God throughout the world, she starts with herself as she seeks to be “unabashedly associated with God in all things”. Jessica lives near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with her husband James and two boys ages 15 and 7. They are an active family that enjoys hiking, watersports, fishing, and snow skiing. They also love to cozy up to the campfire or cuddle up under blankets to watch a good documentary together.
We would love to hear your thoughts on “Everything I am Not”, please don’t hesitate to share your stories or comments below.
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