Name: Nara Shin
Lenten Commitment: Love others better and read the Apostle Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians
It is not easy for me to love others. God calls us to love Him and our neighbors with all of our heart, but it is still very difficult for me and I could never understand why. It should be easy. I mean, it sounds simple enough.
Unfortunately, my natural tendency is to judge others before loving them. Whether it is the clothes they wear or the friends they keep, I found myself becoming a hateful person towards them. So, for Lent, I wanted to overcome this bitterness that had become a large part of me and read the Apostle Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians to give me wisdom on this journey.
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”
1 Corinthians 2:9
English Standard Version
As I was reading, I was entranced by this beautiful illustration. God prepared something so special for us that we could not even imagine how wonderful it is. I wondered how I could experience it for myself.
Over the course of these past few weeks, I constantly made the effort to be kind to others. I tried to restrain myself from saying anything that I would not say to them in person. I started spewing compliments, like “Wow! Your new haircut looks so nice!” even though I did not particularly think so. But this was not the type of love that I was striving for, not at all. It was artificial, forced, and most importantly, it was not from God’s love.
We all know the cliché that Jesus loves us, but I never truly took it into consideration because, to be honest, I did not care. But, in order to love others, I realized I first needed to understand how much God loves me. The song ‘Above All’ sums it up perfectly:
Laid behind the stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Jesus suffered through humiliation, rejection, and loneliness just to love people like me. So I feel a burden and guilt to love Him and others in a similar manner.
Overall, my commitment helped change the way I view people. Although I am still acclimating to it, I try to forget the dust that is in their eyes and try to remember the log in my own. I am trying to initiate a genuine kindness in myself that will last much longer than Lent itself.
God loves us so generously, how could we not at least try to love others in kind? As Christians, we are vessels of his undying love. We are fortunate to have experienced it first-hand through Christ. I hope to take advantage of this and use it to be loving to others in the same manner that God has loved me. As Lent approaches its end, I will strive to continue flourishing my love and do everything for the glory of God.
This post is a part of DSYG’s Lent Reflections series meant to educate and inspire readers on the season of Lent and its value in any Christian’s relationship with Christ. For more information on this series, click here.
To read more posts in this year’s series, click here.