God Goes First

You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. Colossians 1:21-23 The Message

The core concept of Christianity is that we can love because God loved us first. And that’s how loving our enemies works - God did it first, so we’re just allowing his love for us to overflow even to our enemies.

It might be helpful to think about this in three pieces: 1) even though sometimes we hate ourselves and our enemies and even ‘turn our backs to God’ as the passage says above 2) God extended grace to us in Christ to win us back to be family again so 3) now we can grow in that relationship with God, we can give ourselves grace and we can extend grace to even those we are in conflict with.

This about those three relationships - with God, with yourself, and with others (both those within the family of God and the rest of the world). How is God at work in each of those spaces in your life to bring more grace and less hate? (It may be helpful to think about this in the simple picture of a the Connection Triangle, capturing the key connections in every life):

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