Friday, August 23, 2013

Be the Church (Love) - XV

"Always hopes" is the next quality of love. Hope seems to be the same things across all languages and cultures. It is a positive expectation of the future. In some cases, it can be more like wishful thinking. Like hoping to get rich by winning the lottery.

We can have positive expectations of the future that are based on whimsy. And we can have expectations that are based on the character of our Father. If our hopes are based on a chance happening with the odds of 175 million to one, we are going to be disappointed most of the time. If our hopes are based on someone who loves us, wants our best, has planned a good ending for us, and has the power and authority to complete it, we can be pretty confident it will happen.

There is another aspect of having a positive expectation of the future. It is how we look at people.

Often, when people look at other people, they see their lacks, failures, sins and everywhere else they are not meeting up. When God looks at people, especially children in his family, what does he see? He sees Jesus.

God is committed to transforming each and every one of his children into the image of Jesus. Eventually, if you are his child, you will be like Jesus. Your character will be forged. There will be no lacks, no failures, no sins and completion in everything. God has this picture of what someone will be like whenever he interacts with anyone, whenever he thinks about anyone.

This is a trait which probably is impossible for us to complete, because of physical limits. But this is a trait of love. We ought to approach each person -- saved, unsaved, ourselves -- with Jesus' vision of who that person is ultimately in mind.

This is really foreign thinking. Human beings see faults and failures so well, it is very difficult to imagine how viewing people's present condition from the perspective of their potential will affect current relationships. How will this affect words and actions toward other people? (Looks like more thought is required.) But I am convinced Jesus looked at people this way. God still looks at people this way. It was part of how Jesus impacted lives. Knowing that it is an expression of love, that Jesus followed this quality and that combination shook the world, that should be enough for any Jesus follower to seek to understand and practice it.

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