OPEN MIND

“Love, the greatest power” – Pastor Young Joo Lee

As we live in this world, the most difficult thing to deal with is our weaknesses, shortcomings and sinful nature. These are things that we find not only in ourselves, but also in other people in our lives. We ask ourselves ‘Why am I like this?’ or ‘How long will he/she keep making my life so difficult?’

From the time we sinned against God and left Him, problems arose in all creation. But above all, it is our hearts which became ‘deceitful above all things and beyond cure’ (Jeremiah 17:9). Therefore, most of the stress we experience in our daily lives is caused by the words and actions of other people with imperfect characters. This can develop into emotional pain, anger, hatred and can even lead to physical, mental and spiritual illnesses.

God’s solution is love that is forgiving and accepting. There is no other way. This is the only way! We suffer as long as we do not love. This is so important that Jesus said ‘But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins’ (Matthew 6:15), and ‘Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not make room for the devil’ (Ephesians 4:25-26).

Notice that Jesus said these words to the victims, rather than the wrongdoers. But when we are hurt by other people, it is difficult to understand why we’re told to forgive, love and bless those who have wronged us. If we are in a weak position, we may suffer quietly, but our hearts are filled with hatred and resentment. If we have a strong personality, we may confront them and pour out our feelings than to hold them in, but this also does not make our resentment go away.

Therefore, if we do not learn how to forgive and love in Jesus Christ, we will have a very difficult time living in this world. If we do not learn this, we share our wounds and our wounded heart with those closest to us. Then naturally, the listener also begin to see the wrongdoer with a negative perspective. The wounds get transplanted to the listener, who then becomes a fellow hater. The listener also suffers. As time goes by, the relationship gets more and more difficult to untangle, even if we try our best to put our wounds aside.

Love accepts and endures the flaws, shortcomings and sinful nature of human beings, which easily hurts others. This is the only new commandment that Jesus gave us when he came to this world: to love one another (John 13:34-35). Therefore, to love others is the greatest ability and power. The final teaching of the Sermon on the Mount was not to judge others (Matthew 7:1-12). It was a teaching that showed us how we should treat people who have faults and make mistakes worthy of criticism. The conclusion was, ‘In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you’ (Matthew 7:12).

Love is something that cannot be done by human willpower. Even a person who has accomplished great things in the world cannot do this. However, there is a way to do it. It is through Jesus Christ. That is the reason why we seek Him every day and decide to ultimately obey His words.