Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Love Journey: Bless and Do Not Curse

on February 21, 2014

14 Bless those who persecute you;bless and do not curse. 

Let me be totally honest with you.  This is tough.  Being a truly loving person demands being able to love those who are difficult to love.  I remember when I first started recognizing that I needed to be praying about this area of my life.

If it were up to me, I would just love everyone!  I desire that, I truly do.  What I have come to understand, however, is loving everyone is not an easy task.  It is, however, commanded of me by  God.  There are so many verses on this topic, but one verse has been particularly convicting for me over the past few years:

Matthew 5:43-48 ESV

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

So, I am supposed to love others.  That used to boggle my mind a bit more when I thought of love as a physical feeling rather than a state of being.  You may wonder what I mean about love as a state of being.  The best way for me to explain that is to look at scripture.

1 John 4:8 demonstrates this Truth beautifully:

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Notice it doesn’t say that “God is loving. Rather it says that God IS love.  He is love.  And we are called to be love too.  I think that is what God is trying to get me to see through this study.  I think He is revealing to me that I am still seeing this “love thing” all wrong.  Earlier in the study of these verses, I defined love as an intentional choice to exist in relationship.  That is definitely a piece of love….but I’m not sure it really defines love as God wants me to understand it.  I believe that I am missing a point here.

I am not called to simply be loving.  I am called to be love.  I am called to be a representation of God’s heart to others here on this Earth.  I am called to be in relationship with others, yes….but I think it is deeper than that.  God isn’t just showing me how to exist in a loving relationship.  He is showing me how to exist in love.  Period.  Just love.  Those three words are triggering something in me:  God is love.  God is love.  God IS love.  GOD IS love.  GOD IS LOVE.  What is it about this that is setting my heart to burn…to yearn….to crave….something…deeper than I have now???  I am not 100% sure right now…but I am going to follow this lead.

14 Bless those who persecute you;bless and do not curse. 

So, in the light of being love, this takes on a new feel for me.  Love IS blessing others.  Even more than that…
LOVE IS being a blessing to others, regardless of how they treat me.
So…..it’s not that I’m commanded to be perfect (because we know that none of us are).  But, I am commanded to be love.  And love is many things….it is far bigger than an emotion, even far bigger than a choice…. LOVE IS A STATE OF BEING, and there are many ways to BE LOVE.
1.  Be sincere.
2.  Be focused on the good in others

3.  Be devoted to one another

4.  Be placing others before yourself

5.  Be continuously growing in your relationship with the Lord

6.  Be joyful in Hope

7.  Be patient in affliction

8.  Be constant in prayer

9.  Be generous with time, talents, and resources

10.  Be a blessing to others, regardless of how they treat you.

So, of course this all applies to being in a loving relationship as well.  IF both parties are consciously choosing to BE love for one another, then the relationship should be an absolutely beautiful place for both parties to be. Yes, I believe these verses do speak to relationship – so, I haven’t been all wrong.  But I think I may just be scratching at the surface of something much deeper that God is trying to show me….
The whole purpose of this blogging journey is to daily reflect on my life.  And if I am being honest with you all right now, there is one person that I am having a terrible time at this whole BEING LOVE thing.
That person is me.
Until this very moment….I hadn’t realized that this lesson God is teaching me about love, may have much less to do with how I treat others in my life….and perhaps more to do with how I treat myself.  I am not sure exactly where this new insight will go – but that is what I feel God speaking to my heart right now.  I am doing a pretty good job (most days) at being love in my relationships … but not such a good job inside my own head and heart when it comes to me.  To Dawn.  Hmmmmm…..definitely something to pray about…..and see where God takes me next.
REFLECT:
1.  How does this concept of love as a state of being settle in your heart tonight?
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