Thursday, January 27, 2011
Loving One Another
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
It is out of love, devotion, deference, and obedience to our Saviour that we must always strive to love one another. And maybe more importantly, the question is whether or not we are willing.
Being quick to encourage and show mercy when our flesh/sin nature dictates being critical and self-righteous.
Often, I am quick to be critical, unmerciful, and treat someone shabby when they are at their most vulnerable instead of allowing myself to be used of Him to encourage, edify, and simply love...love without conditions...and pour myself out as He poured Himself out for me.
Too much of the time I am puffed up with my own righteousness (as if I had any), my own view of how it all should be and put up walls between those that I feel don't deserve my love.
In my refusing to love and serve others, I am refusing to be used of Him, refusing the blessing of enlarging my spiritual heart, refusing to line up with Him, and instead isolating myself which does nothing but cause my world to be smaller, my heart smaller.
It is easy (most of the time) to love our children, our spouses, our friends, but we are called to love the rest of the family of Christ also.
This includes those that irritate us, are difficult, may be puffed-up with their own self-importance, and those that are living in iniquity.
We are not the Judge, but the vessels that are to tactfully and lovingly direct our brothers and sisters back to the one that can heal and bring about restoration. Yet, I find myself avoiding these people as I don't want to feel uncomfortable.
At times there is a chip on my shoulder against those that appear to have more, may have had the ideal childhood, the ideal parents, and I judge them harshly, foolishly believing they have no idea of what poverty, and abandonment really feel like.
Sadly, the walls are put up by me and many times I hold these people at arm's length justifying my behaviour and believing that these particular people are probably ungrateful and truly cannot understand the depth of love of those that have been brought out of great sin and pain.
This of course is deception.
Has the evil one so completely deceived me that I walk, talk, and carry on daily so utterly duped into believing that others can't possibly be as grateful to Him as I?
What conceit on my part and how my heart breaks to think that in all my silly thoughts the focus has truly been on me, not my King, not His purposes, not His will be done, but my will be done.
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.
Recently, I posted an entry here that told of a confrontation between myself and a fellow brother in Christ.
He attempted to "correct" me in front of my children and I took offense.
Boy, did I take offense. But at the time I truly believed I was right to do so.
The Lord would let me know otherwise and faithfully He grieved my heart until I approached this man and apologized.
No, it wasn't easy, but I had to be obedient.
I apologized for my angry outburst and told him that I had already forgiven him for correcting me in front of my children. I went on to explain that my apology didn't mean that I was admitting he was right in the matter, but that I should have handled the whole situation in love and gentleness, not with angry words and showing obvious offense. The relationship has been mended and I can go on... progressing prayerfully, and with my Lord's help, faithful when I'm called to "love" again.
This "loving one another" is not easy...not for me anyway.
But wonderfully my Savior is Love, the creator and fullest expression of Love!
He will continue to guide me and show me His way, transforming me as I search and study His Word.
And it is that...His perfect and unfailing love, that I'm counting on.
Love one another, Julie