I didn’t know if I quite wanted to go here, but alas I feel I must. I have learned that love can be incredible, amazing, fulfilling, exciting and inexplicable, but it can also be brutal. The very nature of love is a risk. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” Let’s stop right there. The next part of the verse in the King James Version says, “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Wait a minute! God sent His only Son. The only one He had. He did not have a back up, or another that could compare. The only child that He begot, He chose to give away. Not for a specific cause and not for certain people, but for “whosoever”. That is really messing me up right now. Just anybody huh? Whether the richest, nicest, most generous, and incredible person, or the most wretched, evil, conniving, manipulative, destructive person, love drove God the Father to give His only, His first, and His last to “whosoever”.
So perhaps this presents a model that we can somehow follow. As much as God has commanded His love toward us, and even commanded us to love others, we have managed to turn love into an interview process for a select few. Whereby certain people receive our love and others don’t. God made this super huge sacrifice without a guarantee of who would make the decision to appreciate or even receive it, but we are ready to throw in the towel if one person lets us down or breaks our heart. Because two or three people have violated our trust, we come to the resolve that absolutely no one can be trusted. Imagine if God was this way. He sent His love, but one person rejected His love, so He decided to take it back. My stomach is literally churning and my heart on fire right now thinking of how grateful I am that He is not like us. If He removed His love, the gift of His Son, we would not have access to grace, mercy and forgiveness of sins.
God the Father understood that love would present a risk, a gamble that does not guarantee a return, but He gave no attention to that, He loved us so much that He did it anyway. If people have disappointed you whether family, co-workers, friends, or church folks, you will literally have to fight the urge to throw love and kindness out the window of your life. We love because God commanded us to (Matthew 22:39), and we trust that same God that He will place the right people in our lives to love us in return. However, the essence of love is risk, there is no guarantee that it will be returned by anyone in this earth, but let’s follow the example of our Maker and choose to love anyway, knowing that there can be no great reward without great risk.
“There’s no reward in life without risk” ~Barry J. Farbar
“The greatest rewards in life go to the risk takers” ~Jim McCormick
“To win without risk is to triumph without glory” ~Pierre Corneille
“If you take no risks, you’ll never be hurt, but you won’t really live either” ~Dr. James Shiovitz