Saturday, November 3, 2012

Love makes the world go round :)

Love really does make the world go round.  Loving people can be easy but it can also be really hard.  The bible tells us "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them."  Hmmm, so we aren't just called to love those who love us?

It's easy for me to love people that show love to me.  God keeps giving me opportunities though to love people who don't love me.  I know in my heart that these people are broken.  They have deep rooted hurts.  Maybe they don't even love themselves.  What they need is for me to love them. 

Have you read the bible verse that says “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Romans 12:20.  It's funny that people (including me at times) have used this verse out of context.  We like the idea of putting burning coals on the head of someone that has hurt us or has rejected us or just isn't nice to us.  When I studied up on this verse I learned that ancient armies used burning coals against their enemies.  You can only stand up under hot coals for so long before you retreat.  Love is like this.  The more love we throw at someone the harder it is for them to hate us or even be unkind to us. 

Through deeds of love shown to those who have hurt us deeply, we may actually change their hearts. In that case, our enemy has now become our friend.  What would qualify as “hot coals?” A kind word, a phone call, a brief note, a meal, a small gift, running an errand . . . The list is endless, because “hot coals” refers to any act of kindness you do for an enemy. Your only limit is your creativity.

The selfish side of me wants to cause pain to those who have hurt me.  I am tempted to complain about them to others, to think of ways I can get back at them, or to just simply treat them the way they have treated me.  All of these options bring about more pain, frustration, and distance.  It leads to anxiety, stress, and destruction.

Love brings about healing, peace, and restored relationships.  It shows others that with Christ all things are possible.  Love shows that you love others more than yourself and that you are willing to let go of your pride in order to show love to someone that probably really needs it.  Love can turn an enemy into a friend and can bring hurting people to their knees in repentance.

God's word says this:  "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

Nothing we have done or could do in the future can ever separate us from the love that God has for us.  Why then do I let other's actions effect the love I have for them?  Nothing they do should keep me from loving them.  I know I have done things to hurt others at times.  It means a lot to me when they love me through my selfish behavior or forgive me when I don't deserve it.  When someone shows me kindness even though I have hurt them it melts my heart and makes me want to do something extra special for them.  

I want to love that way.  I have a long way to go but little by little my heart is changing and God is teaching me how to love the way He does.  I am going to try really hard to take these matters of the heart to God instead of complaining about them to others, I am going to try to see past the hurtful actions of others and look deeper into their hurting hearts.  I am also going to try really hard not to hurt others with my words, actions, or complaints.  Think before I speak, listen more than I talk, find the good in other's, admit when I am wrong, realize no one is perfect, and most importantly LOVE!!! Love unconditionally expecting nothing in return.  Love because it's what makes the world go round :)  

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