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God’s love gave all, so should I

As a writer, I tend to overcomplicate simple ideas. It would probably make my journalism teachers cringe.

English teachers will tell you a simple sentence can consist of only two or three words, and still convey meaning. Take the following sentence for example:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Basic sentence, right? Let’s boil it down to the italics - God’s love gave His Son.

At least five times in his writings, Paul, who described himself as “the worst of sinners,” also had this basic five-word sentence at its core.

In fact, it is the root of Jesus’ message.

God’s love was so deep, it gave everything for us. It held nothing back.

Why is this basic truth so important to grasp, especially in difficult times? Because it is exactly what He expects us to model to a hurting world that needs Him.

When I am hurting, unfortunately, my first instinct is to retreat inward, to get wrapped up in my problems. The result is I either want to run from what’s causing me pain, or I want to lash out at it.

Both responses are counterproductive to what the Lord wants to do with, and through, my pain, whether that pain is caused by my circumstances or by another person.

If my instinctual response the hurt is fear, bitterness, and anger, if all I am doing with my hurt is draining life from others, then I miss a real chance to take that pain and help lift others from theirs.

But what if I see those wounds in light of the basic truth of God’s love for me?

It reminds me of a quote I heard from a pastor recently, “We love mercy until it’s needed for someone else.”

In other words, if I really have a concept of the depth of God’s love for me, His mercy within my brokenness, the natural outflow of my heart should be the same love demonstrated to others.

Even in the midst of pain, my eyes should be wide open to the suffering of others, my hands always willing to reach a hand out.

It means the words, “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” should be readily, and daily, on my lips, particularly with those who have wounded me most deeply.

When others pursue anger, I pursue kindness. 

Instead of clinging tight to what I hold, I remember it’s not mine to begin with and look for opportunities to share it. Instead of always taking, I give; instead of being served, I serve.

I remember that no relationship is a one-way street. It is a constant investment which remembers others hurt, too, and need to be lifted up, just as I do.

We all hurt, all struggle, all need to be loved and lifted up. I have been there a ton lately. 

I pray, though, when I hurt, I never lose sight of the one basic truth.

God’s love gave everything, and if I’ve been given that, so should I.

Daniel Kiewel is a reporter with the Great Bend Tribune. He can be reached at