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How my Love Falls Short of the Greatest Love

“‘But to you who are listening I say: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you.”

Luke 6:27, 28

When someone lashes out at me, my first reaction is usually concern for me. I reassure myself that I did not deserve it and I lick my wounds. I feel justified in coddling my dignity.

My love falls short of the greatest Love.

It happened the other day at Starbucks. My order was made incorrectly. It occurs occasionally and baristas are usually apologetic and accommodating. But this time was different.

I politely asked the young woman behind the counter for a correction to my drink and was shocked at the sassy reply I got in return. I tried to smooth it over with her, thinking surely there was a miscommunication, but that only made it worse. Her retort was rude and hurtful.

I retreated to the corner to wait, because although she was mean about it, she was remaking my drink. I stood there and replayed the exchange in my head. I didn’t say anything accusing. I didn’t deserve such a response.

Hearts in foam on a cappuccino: How my Love Falls Short of the Greatest Love
Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas on Pexels.com
Love and Coffee, both best brewed pure.

I had placed my order from an app on my phone, so I had a copy of what I’d asked for. I pulled it up. Yes, I did it right. She made the error. I had proof. I was licking my wounds.

When my corrected coffee was ready, I tried to let bygones be bygones. I mustered extra sweetness when I said, “Thank you! I really appreciate it. Have a great afternoon!” She responded with unkindness, and I hurried out.

I got in the car and told my husband all about it. As the words came out of my mouth and I heard them, I felt God nudge me. I’d missed an opportunity. My love had fallen short of the greatest Love.

I know that hurt people hurt people. I suddenly wondered what had transpired in the barista’s day to make her so bitter. I could have cared for her and her needs instead of protecting my own.

Coffee cup in the middle of a heart made out of coffee beans: How my Love Falls Short of the Greatest Love
Photo by Jessica Lewis Creative on Pexels.com
Showing love is more important than drinking perfect coffee.

I imagined my own daughters, who are similar to her in age. I remembered the times they had been hurtful and what had driven them to it. I suddenly wanted to cry. My new emotion was for her, not because of her.

It was too late to go back. I prayed for her instead. I prayed that her next customer was not as slow to hear God’s voice. And I prayed for me.

I asked God to recondition my responses to care for other people when they get in my face. I want to immediately seek to ease them at the source of their pain instead of taking offense. If they see Jesus instead of me, He can make an impact!

“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Luke 6:35, 36

Oh Lord, please forgive me. I thought I was being the bigger person because I was polite. But You didn’t put me there to show that I could rise above. You should have been magnified. I should have ministered, on Your behalf to the injured heart I encountered. She was precious to You and I could have shown her your healing grace. Please continue to teach me how my love falls short of Your greatest Love. Help me do better next time, in Jesus’ name.

20 replies on “How my Love Falls Short of the Greatest Love”

We are frail, but with His Holy Spirit living inside us, we have power! The same power that conquered the grace lives in me! Oh how often I forget to tap into it! I can’t live like He does, but that isn’t an excuse. He just wants to let Him love others through me. I can do that… if I get me out of the way! I’m working on it.

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By praying every time, EVERY time I start the engine on my car, I am learning to listen to the Spirit and find myself praying more for crazies on the road, rather than bashing them mentally with a “that idiot” or “dumb hillbilly.” The ‘cursives’ still slip out, especially if “I” am the offended, and not just an observer, but Father is teaching me to consider what their day may be like.
❤️&🙏, c.a.

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Thank you for that. I hope God used what little of His character I showed. I gave her mercy- didn’t respond as I thought she deserved. But I didn’t show grace. I didn’t go above and beyond, lavishing her with Gods undeserved favor. His nudge told me I could have done better.

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It wasn’t a missed opportunity- you responded with God’s very own love and I’d guess that barista noticed. ‘God works in us,’ and whether we do what we think we should, he’s transforming us via his Spirit in us. Your attitude towards her was ‘a cup of cold water given as unto the Lord.’

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