© 2008-2019 by Mark Shutts Ministries.

Real love costs something. It cost Jesus an agonizing death upon the Cross. Christ could so easily have avoided the pain and sadness of a world rejecting Him simply by having never demonstrated His Love for man by way of the Cross. Love ironically, at some point, brings with it a sadness like no other. Does this then mean that we should follow the advice of those who insist that we should never love in order that we might avoid its pain? No of course not. Though the irony of love is oft times a broken heart, the fact is that love without pain is not a true love. Love without pain is a false love that never had a course to follow to begin with. Love, to know it, to give it, to receive it is what gives life its meaning, its richness, its value. "Love (the Bible says) is of God." (1 John 4:7). As such its eventual pain is not something we must face alone. God is Himself well acquainted with pain as the result of love and He promises to always be there to pick us up, embrace us, and comfort us in His righteousness (Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 41:13).

 

Unfortunately, the same compassion cannot be said of mankind. I think one of saddest things that I have ever heard anyone say was this; “I love walking in the rain because no one can tell that I am crying.”

 

It has been my experience down through the years that people tend to take a very callous approach toward those who are grieving, depressed, and down-hearted. So often others will tell someone who is experiencing a very dark time in their life to just “Snap out of it.” But it’s not that easy. As Christians, the Bible instructs you and I to “comfort one another” and to ease the burdens of one another so that the person is not “swallowed up with overmuch sorrow” (2 Corinthians 2:7). We are to cheer and strengthen one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11). The Bible instructs us to “weep with them who weep (Romans 12:15). And yet so often Christians tend to shun others who are grieving. We care not of their misery, and this is a huge black mark on Christianity and a sin for which we will dearly answer. Listening ears, helpful encouragement, camaraderie, and simple friendship in helping them to work through the grief and thereby lessen their grief, this is our duty as Christians. Every person wants to be loved, to feel that they are loved, to KNOW that they are loved. Of course God loves them and that is the ultimate love. Yet we need the love of one another as well. Even our pets need to know that they are loved. Someone once very aptly stated that the heart filled with love care and kindness is the place where almighty God truly resides. If God truly resides in your heart then yours, too, will be a compassion for others.

-Mark Shutts