I will be the first to admit—and my wife and children will reluctantly back me up on this—that I am unlovable at times.
Anyone that has ever spent significant time around me during my nearly 50 years realizes that I have a temper. It's a character trait I do not embrace.
Drivers on the road irritate me constantly. The injustices of this world—especially when it pertains to the godless acts of our government officials such as our "esteemed president")—aggravate me. The cold, callous attitudes of not only the unsaved but of some in the church when it comes to societal issues makes my flesh want to tear into those people. My "righteous" anger leads me to believe those people are simply unlovable.
But doesn't that type of attitude reflect the character of a callow Christian, someone who hasn't experienced Christ's love and grace to a great degree? Doesn't that make me just as unlovable as those I accuse? I understand I am human and that humans get angry, but most times, it doesn't lead to Christlike behavior.
As a Christ follower, however, there are two things I know. The first is that if you are a child of God and have repented of such anger, God has afforded you grace and you are forgiven. "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in mercy" (Ps. 103:8).
No matter what you do (outside of the unpardonable sin of blaspheming the Holy Ghost), Scripture says His love is unconditional. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). Not that you may take that as a license to wallow in your sin, but you know you are forgiven if you sin and repent.
The second is that you are a work in progress. In my case, the Holy Spirit convicts me daily of my un-Christlike attitudes and behavior. As Paul said in Philippians 1:6, "I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ."
In his book, Lord, Teach Me How to Love (which I am re-reading), Creflo Dollar writes, "No matter how you treat Him, His love remains the same. That's how He wants us to be." Isn't that the way we should be?
I mess up every hour of every day, and I am well aware of it. I'm about as unlovable as they come sometimes. I pray daily that God's love is continually nascent in my heart so that I can show others the love and grace God has shown me.
Won't you make this a daily prayer of yours? Won't you pray with me that God will make you lovable to the world and not only to Him?
And as I always like to say, "There is that."
Shawn A. Akers is the online managing editor at Charisma Media. He is a published poet and published a story about Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read his blog here. To sign up for his newsletter, "Step Out of the Boat," and other Charisma newsletters, click here. You can also listen to his podcasts, the Javelin Sports Show, on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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