One of my favourite portions from the Sermon on the Mountain is the following:
"...And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye...
..Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven...
“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you give to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful."
(From Luke 6)
Why do we focus on the faults of others (and often these faults are imagined or exaggerated) instead of focusing on what we actually have control over- changing our own faults?
Why do we find it easier to do good to those who do good towards us? Why is it so hard to be kind to someone who is not kind to us, even if it's just an impolite stranger?
God can help us to change from loving others with a reactive/responsive love (i.e. "I'll love you only when I think you are being good and loving towards me) to a creative love (i.e. "I can love you even when I don't feel like it").
The greatest realisation we can come to is that God loves us with a creative and original love- i.e. It's not in response to our performance but rather it originates with HIM. And because God never changes, neither does His love for us.
"Nothing can separate us from the love of God." Romans 8: 38, 39.
Only once we realise this can we have that same sort of love towards others in our life.
The Rock of Gibraltar, famous for being an impenetrable natural fortress of protection. The phrase 'Rock of Gibraltar' is used as an expression to indicate something that is unshakeable and reliable. May God be your Rock, Fortress and safe Refuge this week. Have a happy week!