Tough! He Said Love.

I don’t have time to maintain these regrets.

“How He Loves” David Crowder Band


 

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have a hard time loving people.

Let me be even more honest this morning.

Sometimes I have a hard time loving Christian people.

I don’t struggle so much to love non-Christian people. I can accept a LOT from non-Christian people. I don’t expect them to adhere to Christian standards.

Unfortunately, I hold Christian people to a high standard. And sometimes I’m crushed when they don’t love the way I think the Bible tells us to love. Then I have a hard time loving them the way I should.

Vicious cycle to fall into.

I’m struggling to love lately because I’m saddened by the pain and confusion I see inflicted on Christians by other Christians. And I feel guilty because I’m having a hard time loving.


My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. 1 John 3:18-23

(NKJV)

If you read much of what I write, you have probably figured out I use New King James Version of scripture. I adhere to King James Version, but NKJV is so much more “friendly”.

However, I often read scripture in MANY versions. I’m going to share the above scripture again from The Message simply because the interpretation really grabbed my attention this morning.

My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.
And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God! We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what He said, doing what pleases Him. Again, this is God’s command: to believe in His personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in Him, and He lives in us. And this is how we experience His deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit He gave us. 1 John 3:18-24 The Message (capitalization of pronouns He, Him, and His added by me)


I must stop talking about love, and live love.

Sometimes love is tough.

That means I have to address the situation that has me withholding love. Yuck. It’s easier to just steer clear. Ignore. Hope it goes away. Let God bring the situation to their attention. But it’s getting worse; not better.

Do you see what love shuts down?

Self-criticism.

I am my own worst enemy. I find fault with everything I say and do. Did you read the beginning of my post today? Who was I blaming?

God is greater than my heart and knows all things. Hallelujah!!!

Once I stop blaming myself, I can be bold and free before God.

THAT. That’s what I want.

Despite my failures, despite my anger instead of love, despite my self-criticism, God loves me. God loves me.

And guess what? He loves YOU, too!

I can’t speak for you, but like the lyrics above, I DON’T have time to maintain these regrets. I have been called to love as He has loved.

 

 
 
 
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