I'm not sure what I expected when I started writing about the top 25 quotes about Jesus as listed at azquotes.com, but I certainly didn't expect to be challenged to the extent that these words of Ravi Zacharias challenge me.
"Love is a commitment that will be tested in the most vulnerable areas of spirituality, a commitment that will force you to make some very difficult choices. It is a commitment that demands that you deal with your lust, your greed, your pride, your power, your desire to control, your temper, your patience, and every area of temptation that the Bible clearly talks about. It demands the quality of commitment that Jesus demonstrates in His relationship to us."
You might read that and think that Jesus has an easy job of loving us. He doesn't HAVE any lust or greed or pride that he has to deal with.
He has to deal with OUR lust and greed and pride and, and, and....
And that can be a pretty tough row to hoe.
Let's put it in terms you can relate to: What if your special someone came and admitted that they have been cheating on you? How easy would it be for you to forgive? How easy would it be for you to swallow your pride and your sense of being betrayed? How easily could you die to all those feelings of hurt and keep on loving them?
Not easy...but worth it.
Worth it because the alternative would be to continue living in a stagnate pool of low self-esteem and high expectations; wallowing in the muddy sludge of holding a grudge; drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.
Truth is...Jesus loves us in spite of how we treat him. His commitment to desiring what's best for us never wavers. And we are called to love each other the same way. Paul wrote Ephesians 5:25 to husbands, but it can certainly apply to wives as well:
Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.