Guest Blogger-Valerie K. Baldwin
One of the biggest lessons I have learned from my fur child, Joey, is to love unconditionally even when someone falls.
In the almost four years I’ve had Joey I have been through some difficult days. I would say I was in a season of trials. Times of trial are hard. Sometimes it is self-induced due to a poor decision, sometimes the trial is due to someone else’s poor decision, or it can be completely out of your hands, like illness. I have been through all three of these difficulties almost from the first day since Joey came to me. And in every situation Joey has been right by my side.
He shows love and comfort in many ways like licking away my tears or not leaving my side through weeks of sickness. Joey has seen me through my darkest days thus far in my life with consistency, love, and comfort.
I am thoroughly blessed to have family and friends who have also consistently loved me, and for that I am truly thankful! But not everyone reacts in this way, as I have felt the sting of rejection.
Why is it, as the body of Christ, is it the tendency to kick people while they are down?
Why is it, that when a fellow believer falls, Christians scatter leaving no one to help them up?
But, how does Jesus treat those who fall?
As a follower of Christ, Jesus is our example of how to live.
The story of Peter comes to mind. Peter followed Jesus in person for 3 years. Peter was “the rock” upon whom Jesus would build the church. Peter was the only disciple willing to get out of the boat and walk on the water to Jesus. And yet, Peter was the disciple who directly denied even knowing Jesus as He was going through His greatest trial.
How did Jesus react to Peter? He loved and forgave him. Jesus asked, Peter do you love me? Then feed My sheep. In spite of Peter’s failures there was forgiveness and restoration. Peter went on to lead the Church through extreme difficulty, and he was martyred for his faith. The same man who denied Jesus was used by God to lead the early church.
When a believer falls God is not done with them, so we should not be either. Be the shoulder to cry on, speak truth in love. Don’t give up on those who have fallen and are trying desperately to get back up.
Take a lesson from my Joey and your own furry friend, love unconditionally and love with all you got!