Friday, September 28, 2012

What is Love?

This afternoon someone had a splinter in their foot.  They ask me to take a look.  It was so deep and had been in there so long it was dark all around the area.  I had to take a needle and dig it out.  It hurt for a little while but then it was so much better.  Now it could heal.

So are our relationships.  We may go on for a while trying to love someone but when there is unresolved sin in the relationship it will never flourish.  When there is anger in the heart, caused by not forgiving.  God, in His mercy, digs the sin out of our hearts and our relationships.  It is so very painful in the process.  But hopefully,  the relationship will be healed and restored.  You cannot fix the relationship.  It takes God and two humble people to restore a sick relationship.

I feel like I have never loved anyone with the real love of Jesus.  I tried to keep the peace at all cost.  Saying what people, not God, wanted to hear.  Doing what they wanted me to do.  I couldn't even make a decision and make it stick for being afraid I would make someone unhappy.  I thought everything was my fault.  I even suffered from depression because I could not control pleasing everyone.

Then there's the opposite of this.  Doing what you want to no matter what God or anyone else says.  Pushing others or rejecting them when they don't do what you want them to do.  You might have outburst of anger when things get out of your control to bring everyone back to where you want them.  Using your anger to manipulate people and the situation through fear.  You have to cover up your own sin to feel justified in your need to fix everyone else.

Neither one of these are love.  Neither heart has been grasp by the love of the Father for them.  They are very self serving at the cost of the relationship and others.  Jesus laid down His life for us.  When you go against your sinful natures inclination to love someone it feels like you are dying.  You are not getting what feels good to your flesh.  Instead you are most interested in the well being of the other person.

 Jesus entered into our world.  He moved into the other persons story.  He listened.  He felt their pain because of the cross.  He would love them right where they were. He let them know they were valuable.  He told them the truth about themselves and their sin.  Even if it wasn't what they wanted to hear.  He got them to see their need for a Savior.  He desired their whole hearts.  He wanted them to be all they could be.  To have a life of peace and joy.  He longed for them to be free to love.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. ...