I used to believe that the proof of true love was that someone would see you in your worst moments and love you just the same. I still do, but with reservations.
Here’s what I also believed wrongly along with that: I believed that I had to show my worst self to whoever wanted to love me. Somehow, I struggled with the fear that if they never saw me at worst, then I couldn’t trust their love for me. That screams insecurity, don’t you think? But more importantly, it is contrary to sound truth.
As servants of Christ, we are called to love the LORD with all our heart, and our soul, and our mind; and to love our neighbor as ourselves. When Christ Jesus was leaving the earth, He gave His disciples what He called a new command.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” –John 13:34
Love does not take a break. To show the worst of ourselves to the one we say we love is not to love. But also consider this, of all people to give the least of myself to, should I choose the one I say I love?
Yes, it is easier to relax our self-control when we feel safe. With those we love we can speak freely rather than watch every word we say for fear of being misunderstood. But this has nothing to do with actively loving someone, by bearing up with them, not holding their wrongs against them, forgiving them, letting things go, being patient with them, giving them the last slice of pizza and so on.
Our worst selves are not our true selves. The Bible says:
“Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” –Philippians 3:16
We don’t have to live less than what we have already attained in Christ. We can love (sacrifice, give, bear…) in secret and in the places where we take for granted, especially with the people closest to us.
This is the self that God calls us to be, because this is the self that God made us when He renewed our spirits in Christ Jesus.
I want to be my best self, which is my true self in Christ. I want to be the one who loves freely, doesn’t hold on to hurt, forgives, bears, is patient, and everything that love is. For in loving, I am more like Christ, after the image of God, as He intended me to be. Plus, in the end it is way more freeing to love!