No, I am not a heartbreaker in the Hollywood sense, nor have I ever had a broken heart in the Hollywood sense. (In fact, I have never been through a break up at all since Kristian is the only person I have ever dated.) Still, like any married couple, Kristian and I have broken each other’s hearts many times by our sin against each other. And in addition to breaking his heart, I am also sad to say that I have broken many other hearts by my own sin (such as pride, selfishness, selfish ambition, fear of man, lack of love, bitterness, ignorance, apathy, judgmental-ness, overbearingness, laziness, etc. and etc.) And like everyone else, I have also had my heart broken by others in this way.
In addition to causing heartbreak to ourselves and others, our sin against one another and the resulting damage also grieves the God who loves us!
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”(Ephesians 4:30-32 ESV)
In recent years, a major source of heartbreak in my life has been from brokenness in the Body of Christ. This type of heartbreak in the Body of Christ is hard to handle because it seems that we should know better in that we have witnessed and experienced the most profound, amazing, other-worldly love—the love of God demonstrated in Christ!!
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
(John 13:34-35 ESV)
From this verse, we see that:
1) God calls us to love one another;
2) God has loved us;
3) God’s love for us in Jesus is the model for how we are to love each other; and
4) The way that everyone will know that we belong to Jesus is by our Christ-like love for one another.
This an easily overlooked, but very profound and vital truth. God calls us to love, not as the world loves, but in the way that He loves us—sincerely, effacaciously, affectionately, sacrificially and scandalously! He demonstrated His love for us through great sacrifice even while we were His enemies! He stood up for us against our accuser (and still does)! And when we love with THIS kind of lavish other-worldly love, people will know that we are His!!
In recent years, I have witnessed and experienced conflict in the Body of Christ unlike what I have ever experienced before and it has caused my heart to ache in ways it has never done before—both because of my own sin and the sin of others. I have seen and experienced abandonment, slander, false accusations, and friendships that have ended in angry lashing out or fizzled out in quiet indifference. These things are caused by pride, selfish ambition, selfishness, apathy, fear of man, and a plain old lack of love—the kind of love that pursues, engages, forgives, blesses and sacrifices. I know that this shouldn’t surprises us as we look at our hearts that still struggle with sin and as we consider that God is still patiently opening all of our eyes and gradually transforming all of us. Yet, the more and more we see and experience the amazing ways that God loves us and calls us to love one another, the more we ache when we do not see this kind of love in ourselves and in other believers. "For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling..."
(2 Corinthians 5:2 ESV)
(2 Corinthians 5:2 ESV)
My heart is so raw and heavy right now. If there is anyone out there in cyberspace reading this, will you pray with me?
Heavenly Father, Have mercy on us! Father, we have not been good image bearers of you. We have not loved you or others as we ought. We have forgotten the way that you have loved us when we were your enemy, and accordingly we have not loved others with this kind of love! Please convict us—convict your Church that we may see our folly!! Open our eyes to the ways you are calling us to love with sincerity, with truth, with compassion, and with action! Help us to see your love more and more—help us to be rooted in your love more and more deeply. May loving others in this way flow out of us as we behold your love for us in your Word. Bring healing and reconciliation to brothers and sisters in Christ, just as you brought us healing and reconciliation when our sin separated us from you!! Our hearts are broken over this sin and disunity. Bind up our broken hearts. Be near to us. Bring us comfort and help, we plead with you. You alone are good!!! In Jesus Name, Amen