A Learning Process

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:35

Just before Christmas, Grayson’s kindergarten class had a pizza party. The party was in reward for his class gathering food contributions to give to families in need during the holiday season. On the day of the party, as Susan explained to Grayson why he was having a pizza party that day, his response floored us both.

“Why are we getting the pizza? Shouldn’t we give it to the other kids who need it?”

As a parent, you hope the best for your child. You work to impart some measure of wisdom, teaching them the values you hold dear, and hope they turn out okay. As Susan shared that story with me on a phone call following their carpool ride before school, I couldn’t help but feel so proud of my child that he exhibits such a level of compassion.

It’s a trait we’d hoped to instill, a simple awareness and consideration of others. Watching him interact with other people is truly a blessing as we see the deep sense of love on display. He just wants people to get along, to play together, and be nice to one another. Basic character traits we’d hope for him to have, rooted in love.

Love is such a simple, yet loaded, word. Love, especially in a church setting, is ingrained in all we do because it’s the basis for our beliefs, a God who lovingly creates and lovingly imbues loving traits in a loved creation through a Savior whose message of love is housed in his loving behavior.

You get the picture.

Loving God is meant to help you show love for others. We remind Grayson of this each night. The last thing he hears before he goes to sleep are the simple truths that Jesus loves him and so do we.

Learning to love is instilled within us from a godly source, to protect, to sustain, to teach, but just because the motivation is there doesn’t mean we have it perfected. It requires  constant care. Once presented with this love of God, it’s our responsibilities to make
it tangible, a realized characteristic of God’s Kingdom on earth. Otherwise, it simply remains some hypothetical notion, existing in an ethereal realm only to be mentioned in worship or Bible study. The transformational aspect of love is such that it should lead to behavior.

As a child learns to love others, the process by which we as believers consistently show the love of God is still a learning process. Jesus trusts that the love he has shown us is the love that will enable us to share it with others. Once in a while, I think he provides us with healthy reminders of what it looks like, perhaps something like a kid just wanting to share his pizza.

— Trent Sessoms


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