When my son Kyle lived in Belgium as an exchange student, I became an expert in international finance. I deposited dollars in his bank account in Pennsylvania, enabling him to swish his debit card and pay in francs across the Atlantic. When he needed a train ticket to Brussels, swish. If he wanted to meet friends after school in a cafe, swish.
Program restrictions didn’t allow the international students to be employed, so whenever funds ran low, Kyle phoned home—collect—to request more. Then he got back to the serious business of swishing and spending my money.
That’s how God’s love works.
He has opened an account for each of his children, depositing a quantity of love too wide, long, high, and deep to measure. (See Ephesians 3:18. Read repeatedly until it knocks you over.) God directs us to freely swish and spend his love.
I tend to respond rather than initiate, so I’m more likely to share my love with people who have first shared their love with me. Sound reasonable?
Jesus is an unreasonable master.
He told his disciples there’s no reward for loving those who love you, or saying “howdy” only to people you already know. He reminded them that his Father provides sunshine and rain for great and not-so-great people. And get this: He even insisted his followers should pray for people who make their lives miserable. (See Matthew 5:43 – 47. Read repeatedly until you feel uncomfortable.)
So I try to pray for people I don’t like and those who hurt me. I begin with love—Lord, send incredible blessings to so-and-so today—but quickly run out—and, Lord, make sure so-and-so knows he did nothing to deserve them.
That’s a good time to stop and look at the extravagant balance of love in my account. …how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…
I think I can afford to spend a lot more.