Loving Beyond Pain

Michael Beck

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:12-14)

There is the common way which men walk as they travel the broad road that leads to destruction. This way entails doing to others what they do to you. It is the way of payback and retaliation. Some would call it justice, but it is justice without mercy. It is raw punishment borne out of vengeance. There is no compassion, no pity, no understanding – there is only: “You hurt me, and now I hurt you.” Such evil, while so easily justified, is what the Bible calls “malice.” Even the Old Testament enjoins us not to walk in such a spirit: “Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me …” (Prov. 24:29)

How rare is the opposite way? There are only a few who find it and walk in divine mercy and love. Here we don’t do to others what they’ve done to us; we do to them what we would have liked them to do to us. If we wished they were more sensitive, more caring, toward us – we make it our business to be sensitive and caring toward them – even if the more abundantly we love them, the less we be loved. (2 Cor. 12:15)

Those on the narrow road are not overcome by evil. They don’t repay evil with evil – they overcome evil with good. This is the way of our Lord. It is the way He walked. And if we abide in Him we will walk even as He walked. (1 John 2:6) We will be holy and harmless. The greater the darkness that surrounds us, the brighter we will shine.

Don’t think this way will be yours automatically or naturally. No. You must learn such from Christ. Before His appearing, all were on the broad road leading to destruction. But the better Way that leads to life has come. He invites “whosoever will” to join Him. If you would accept His invitation, prepare to be transformed in the deepest part of your being. Prepare to love beyond pain.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.