“You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
And loving Him with your whole heart and whole life often looks like loving people with your whole heart and whole life.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:40
And it’s never as simple as loving those close to you and who love you back.
“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” Matthew 5:46-47
Because living for Jesus often looks like living for others. It looks like laying self down and pouring yourself out.
So you pour out daily never knowing what seed will grow and what will whither. The command isn’t to pour only where you are guaranteed growth to to pour wherever He gives opportunity and to leave the increase to Him.
And with every drop of life poured out you tear down the stones piling up around your heart. Because when you pour out love you are bound to sometimes get pain back and it’s easy to build walls around your heart.
But we’re called to love and you can’t love from a heart barricaded with brick and stone. And bitterness and fear are harder barriers than rocks and plaster.
And with every drop of life and love poured out you must tear down the stones piling up around your heart…you must.
“Because it’s hard to hold onto a grudge when you’re holding onto hope.”
Because I heard it just ten short days ago and yet my heart forgets so quickly. And that hope is Jesus, and that hope is in Jesus.
A hope in the fact that He is big enough to hold and protect and heal my heart. A hope in the fact that He has been through it and more and yet He perfectly knows how to heal the wounds while still leaving my heart tender.
Because He never called us to protect our hearts.
He commanded us to give away our lives.
He commanded us to love with no expectation of return.
He commanded us to follow His footsteps of unconditional love.
He commanded us to love always.
So we pour out and give out and live out love and hold tight to hope and breathe hope and preach hope to our hearts all the while. Because hope in Jesus is the only thing that can tear down the walls of bitterness and fear.
Sisters, have you ever struggled with the desire to protect your heart? How have you found ways to keep a soft and open heart even after being hurt?