It’s so interesting, the sins one starts to struggle with. As a teenager and young adult, I was so soft and sensitive and pie-in-the-sky. It’s the work of God to help a person see the sinfulness of mankind, especially other Christians or of oneself even, and not fall into the trap of becoming hardened and cynical about human nature.
I started noticing this with our rehab guys. They can just lie to your face about how much they want to change, follow God, etc. … Then as soon as they get a few new clothes, a shower, haircut, food– out they go. The pathetic Liars.
After a while, I just want to snort and roll my eyes.
It’s like a fast-growing vine that’s ready to wrap around everything and squeeze one into hardness and smallness.
I also deal with it with church people. It’s easy to see the un-repented-for faults of a few loud, glaring souls and … get small and hard inside. Snort. Roll the eyes.
Dear God, save me.
From my own sinful heart.
And now I see the dear Jesus more clearly, that He lived in this kind of world, and worse for Him because He was perfectly right always, and He didn’t become hard, or small, or snort, or roll His eyes.
He died. For them.
He loved them– sometimes that love meant rebuking. Sometimes it was a show of mercy. Or a conversation with a spiritually blind spiritual leader. Or submitting to a lavish display of love. Or serving disciples who still didn’t understand.
But He didn’t become cynical. He didn’t become hardened by others’ sins.
And the phrase that helps me is: Love hopes all things.
I never really understood that phrase before. Sounds really nice. But isn’t it easy to hope? Why write about it?
“Love hopes all things” is the pruning shears that chop away at the roots of those cynical vines that want to make me hard and small.
Love bears all things. All the lies, all the deceit. All the continuous sinning. It bears them, still faithfully loving.
Love believes all things. Love believes that God is powerful and able to fulfill His promises– to save sinners. To perfect the work He’s started in every believer. To protect and grow His church.
Dear God. Have mercy on me, a sinner. Save me from the sin of cynicism. Give me thoughts and words and actions that flow from Your love, the love that bears, believes, and hopes all things.