“God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so also are we in this world. We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:16-17, 19
What a crazy thought – that God should choose us to perfect His love. Our imperfect, flawed, even broken bodies are the vessels He chooses to carry and pour out His beautiful, pure, perfect love. I don’t know about you, but this broken vessel sure feels unworthy of that gift.
Thankfully, He doesn’t wait around for us to be perfect to fill us with His love. We just need to abide in Him.
Abiding in Him is like plugging in a remote-control car. It needs to stay plugged in to get the full amount of power to run well. My 4-year-old son got a remote-control truck for Christmas, and he has a hard time keeping it plugged in. 🙂 When he disconnects it before it gets fully charged, he ends up disappointed that his truck doesn’t get very far before it runs out of power.
It’s the same with us. When we don’t stay plugged in to our Power Source, we aren’t filled with the energy we need. We don’t have what it takes to love others well. God created us with the need to remain plugged in to Him so that we can love and serve the way He intended.
When His perfect love has filled us to the brim, we can’t help but spill out to others. We have the ability to love them because He loves us first (no matter what challenges they present).
There will be plenty of opportunities to practice loving challenging people – sometimes daily! But, there is no way of doing that well if you keep trying to love from your broken, flawed vessel.
The Japanese have a traditional art called Kintsugi, which takes broken pieces of ceramics and joins them back together using a strong metal such as gold. This beautiful art creates a new, unique piece that highlights and enhances the cracks, leaving a vessel that is actually stronger than the original.
Without God to fill in our cracks, our vessel will not be able to keep much in and will dry up quickly. Our own efforts to pour out love are not going to get us far. Abiding with God gives His perfect love the ability to fill in the cracks of our broken vessel so we can pour out His love to others.
What a beautiful picture this creates for others to see God highlighted in our cracks! What hope it brings the broken to know that because of their cracks, they can be made stronger and more useful than they’ve ever been when they are filled by a loving God.
Abide with the One who can fill and enhance the cracks of your beautifully broken vessel. Your strengthened vessel will be so full of His perfect love, it will spill out on to everyone around you.
➡️ What does it look like for you to abide in Christ in order to know Him more and love people who are challenging?