Today, I want to invite you to join me in a Living Free Together conversation with Bravegirl Community Founder, Christy Rodriguez. Sometimes, when we step into the shoes of another sister for a moment we learn from her. Today, Christy explains how one woman loved her in a way that drove her straight into the arms of her Savior, out of addiction and into a new identity. ~ Suzie
How do we love people?
How should we love people?
That seems like a straightforward question. One that should be easy to answer, and yet we often make it complex.
- I will love you, if you clean up your act first.
- I will love you, when you believe like me.
- I want to love you, but if I love you people will think I condone your sin or choices.
Jesus is our example. He loved people well. He loved as he showed up. He loved as he walked through life with them. Jesus often shocked people by the way that he loved, because he met people where they were.
He invited himself to two tax collectors’ homes for dinner (Matthew 9:10-12 and Luke 19:1-10). He knelt with an adulterous woman being judged for her sinful act (John 8:1-11). He didn’t ask people to clean up first. And yet, they changed. Love drew them. Truth and mercy opened eyes and mended hearts.
When Jesus made this startling statement, his followers struggled to understand it.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34 NIV).
They were accustomed to a long list of rules that had to be followed to be accepted. Not everyone measured up. In fact, you had to work really hard at it and most fell short.
Jesus simplified love to two things:
- Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
- Love others like I have loved you.
The first part, we get. But the second? What does this look like? Jesus clarified it for us further.
- Love people like you want to be loved (Mark 12:30-31)
Do we love people?
In today’s Living Free Together podcast, I talk with a good friend, Christy Rodriguez. She tells her story of addiction and battle with same sex attraction, and how one faith-filled woman loved her straight into the arms of Christ and wholeness.
Christy believes that if she hadn’t met a woman that loved her like Jesus, she would have not found her way to him. In fact, her words, “I wouldn’t be here. I’d be dead today.”
As you listen to this conversation, my prayer is that we’ll ask this question.
Do we love like Jesus?
If you can’t view this video in your feed, WATCH IT HERE.
We may feel that loving someone right where they are is condoning their sin. But, isn’t that where Jesus started with you, with me?
We may feel that we need to inform someone of all the things wrong that they are doing, before showing them the love of Jesus. But how can a person know what is truth, until her eyes are opened by the One who loves her most?
Love is a mixture of grace and truth
It’s not uncommon to see extremes. To see love without truth. To see truth without an ounce of love.
Jesus showed us how to reach out in love, but he also showed us how to honor our Father in the process. As Jesus loved, he never compromised in his own walk with his Father. He never forgot his mission (Luke 4:18-19) or who he was. He never misrepresented the heart of the Father. He continually presented love, followed by truth and grace.
If you want to know how to love, follow Jesus’ example as he knelt beside the broken. As he reached for the lost. As he listened. As he showed people the way to a Father who loved them.
Do we love like Jesus?
That’s our mission.
I hope you’ll get to know my friend, Christy Rodriguez, better. She’s a wife, mom, blogger, speaker and founder of Brave Girl Community. She is an encourager, the first to show up and cheer others on as they follow Christ.
Check out her ministry blog at Brave Girl Community.
Connect with Christy on her Facebook Brave Girl Community ministry page.
The Spirit-Led Heart: Living a Life of Love and Faith Without Borders by Suzanne Eller
“I’m grateful for this deep—but somehow accessible—word. As a longtime Christ-follower, I have always had the desire, but not always the tools, to be led by the Spirit. I love this inspirational yet ever practical instruction in how to stop letting our hearts be tossed and turned by the whims of the world and instead be led by God himself. Not only has Suzie given us practical steps, but she’s dared us to challenge our own limited thinking about who God is and how much he loves us.”
Kathi Lipp, bestselling author, The Husband Project, Overwhelmed, and Clutter Free
- Read two chapters for free. <– Just for you.
I actually have a New friend…an adult in ministry who has created a contengency list for loving me. I can tell you exactly who seeded the idea ….the idea is rooted in Marketing. They post 100s of webinars every day teaching brand loyalty and if someone joins your team & isn’t activity selling or brand loyal you have to cut ties with them and move on to generating and investing in the next person…the Game is about generating wealth…not actively engaging in lifting each other up in friendship & Faith.
Can I just say as an Artisan I’ve never looked at my friends or anyone who walked into my booth and demanded brand loyalty above Friendship & Faith. I never ask my venders to be brand loyal. I’m the daughter of a King first & foremost, sharing the love of God. He has commanded that i love everybody like I love myself
Socially we continue to see a rise in Direct Sales in our friends & it’s import to Acknowledge who is providing the opportunity to work & its purpose. If God is in it then know he provides all your need. Those friendships & connections are about being brand loyal to God’s plan to love one another.
Love this Maggie! “Those friendships and connections are about being brand loyal to God’s plan to love one another”. Those are powerfully true words!
Thank you Suzy for putting Christy on. I want to be like Jackie who was like Jesus. I think we need to quit pointing fingers and start loving. Jesus said he didn’t come to judge the world but came to save it. We are supposed to be like Jesus, we are not God, it is not our job to judge folks. We just need to love people like Jesus would. Christy has showed me so much, thank you!
This blog/video is powerful and holds the promise of the deep love of Jesus. Thank you, Christy, for sharing your journey with us. Suzie, thank you for following the leadership of the Holy Spirt. My eyes continue to be adjusted, along with my heart, as I better understand how Jesus loves. He is so gracious to me as he pours over his love. Who am I not to do the same? Holy Spirit, keep stirring my heart into love-action. ❤️
Timely. Clear. Brief. Anointed writing.
Taking these chapters in and gleaning the scriptures and the stories that had my name along the way.
My soul is refreshed as I head off to work.
My now saved husband of 41 years, cancer free (2 times) and 1-1/2 years of his salvation.
Priceless. Restored. Redeemed.
Acts 4:13 living it out.
Thank you so much for sharing this! It speaks to me in so many different places today! I pray daily “relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do your will”, but so often I get in the way of the Spirit as I try to love others well. Can’t wait to share this, and for my copy of the book!
Thanks for posting this!
The phrase that stood out to me-A “high jacked identity” …the lies of one who seeks to steal, kill & destroy…and a deeper story into the heart and unconditional love of God.
The spirit leads….even those who have wandered away…leads them back home!! ♥️ He leads me…when my mind and heart wanders. He leads!! He leads my family. Those for whom I pray. He leads. The lost. He leads. This story challenges me, within the deep recesses of my being, to be like him. Love this!! ♥️
Thank you so much for this talk on loving people. At one time I felt a burden that I had to tell people what is wrong and what they need to do with their life , Knowing by loving them and pointing them to Jesus. I will fail them and Jesus won’t. It takes that heavy feeling of responsibility from me that I should fix them , I can’t but I know the one who can. Loving others , thank you so much!
Thank you Suzie for invite Christy to share her testimony with us. How great is the Love of Jesus in our lives!
Wonderful testimony. Glory to God!
Powerful video Suzie! Christy shared a powerful testimony. Loved your blog! Yes, Grace + Truth is a very important process in pointing others to the grace of God. *Ephesians 4:15, When we have given grace, we can speak God’s truth to one another in Love.” In a study I’m getting ready to facilitate we are also adding Time (relationship with our Lord = in order to experience Change.
I’m a people person and love others unconditionally! I don’t have to agree with others choices but I want others to see Jesus in me and love to give my smile away!
I’m so looking forward to receiving my books! One for me and one to give as a gift!
Have a blessed weekend!
Powerful in so many ways! #thanksGod