Relationships, Love 3
Tag Archive for love one another
Relationships, Love 2
Relationships, Love 1
Monday – Love
Thursday – The Essence of Life
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” (John 15:5, 12, NASB)
How can we love each other as Christ loves us?
Abide in the Vine.
Stay connected to Him.
Stay connected throughout the day,
turning to Him and
talking to Him often.
His perspective will start to permeate our
His love will be the fruit of our remaining in Him.
We expect holidays to be perfect as they include time off work, fun, food, and being with people we love. But even during holidays, people are people, and unpleasant things happen. Love is a powerful force, and not always a comfortable one. When it is combined with the ups and downs of emotions, and the unpredictability of people, stressful situations occur.
Nothing is quite as stressful as having a blockage in a relationship with someone very close to our hearts, about whom we care deeply. When an incident disturbs this relationship, we can think of nothing else. But I’ve found that God teaches me a lot through such pain – a lot about myself, about love, and about trusting Him.
So, although I am no counselor or psychologist, let me share a couple of lessons I’ve learned during family holidays.
When conflicts arise, at times I’d swear I am totally blameless, only to see, through time and conversation, that I’ve thought and acted selfishly. It usually comes down to this: when I fail to turn my needs over to God, I am inevitably protective and selfish, although I may be blind to it at the time.
God is always with me, ready to meet even my most personal needs. When I commit those needs to Him, I am freed to be more flexible, loving, and giving in my relationships. I don’t need to demand my way, even when some need is crying within me. When loves calls me to give way to another’s wishes, I can do so in peace, resting my needs with Him.
However, sometimes painful occurrences in relationships truly aren’t my fault. I have been wronged. I am a victim. In trying to deal with the debilitating pain, I long for a restored relationship. I just want the other person to apologize, thus opening the way to restoration. If this one would just realize and admit error, everything could get back to normal.
But I’ve learned that the way to healing is not through receiving an apology, but through giving free forgiveness, even when it is not requested. Forgiveness breaks down the walls, relieving the painful tensions and bringing healing. And we always have the option of extending forgiveness. God gives us this freedom if we ask Him, and no wrong can take it away.
Forgiveness restores the joy, warmth, and rest to our hearts. The ability to extend forgiveness is yet another gift of His love working within us. We just need to turn to Him, admit our need, and trust Him.
His presence works to restore and renew our relationships, no matter what the problem, no matter who is at fault.
As those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (Colossians 3:12-14, NASB)
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:44-48, NIV)
God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV)
Our Father has freed us to be
as loving and generous as He is.
He has promised to provide everything we need
to care and to give as He does.
Will we trust Him for it?
Will we dare to live like Jesus?
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NIV)
The demands of love can seem overwhelming and beyond our ability.
But when God calls us to love, He is not pushing us into the impossible. He is calling us to himself. He is urging us to look away from ourselves and our own needs and resources, and to look to Him.
The more we look to our Father, the more we trust Him and love Him. As we trust Him, we are free to be generous with others. As we love Him, we grow to love those He loves.
Is loving difficult? Spend more time with your loving Father. As you live in His presence, you’ll become more and more like Him.
Years ago I went to a prayer seminar taught by my mentor and close friend, Dr. Morris Weigelt. He asked the group of us to recall the people in our lives who had influenced us the most. Names filled the chalkboard as we fondly recalled a wide range of people who had made a lasting impact on our lives.
Then he asked us why these people had been so influential. What was it about them that left such a deep and permanent effect on us? Again, the chalkboard was filled with reasons.
When they had all had been listed, we looked at them as a whole. To my surprise, there was not a single “professional” ability on the board. No one had been considered influential because they were intelligent or talented or specially capable in some way.
Why had the long and varied list of people been so influential in our lives? All the reasons boiled down to only one: we had each been the most deeply influenced by the persons who had cared about us, who had taken a personal interest in us. The people who changed us most profoundly were those who made us feel valued, respected, and loved. It was the people who had cared about us, not just in word, but by giving of themselves actively, personally, individually, unselfishly. They had said to us by their actions, “You are special! I believe in You!” And because they said it with their actions, we believed them.
Do you want to make a difference? Do you want to have a lasting impact on some person’s life, and therefore on our world as a whole? Go out of your way to give someone your personal attention. Love – active, sincere, sacrificial love – is still the greatest force for bringing change, blessing, joy, and new life to our world. If you want to make an investment that will pay off, invest yourself in people. Invest yourself in love.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God…God is love. (1 John 4:7-8, NASB)
We who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. (Romans 15:1, NASB)
Lord, I’m glad to love and serve other people…as long as it’s convenient and reasonably comfortable. I’m willing to give a little money to feed the hungry.
But You want me to bear with those who are weak in other ways, ways that may be inconvenient and uncomfortable for me. You call me to love those are who struggling with emotional scars, blind spots, moral problems, and disordered lives. You call me to be compassionate when hidden fears cause unpredictable and volatile reactions.
Lord, You have always fully accepted me, with all my problems. Help me do the same for others.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all. (Philippians 1:3-4, NASB)
On Facebook I’m often struck by how people absolutely glow when they talk about those they love, especially their families: children, grandchildren, spouses, and parents.
What’s more, these family members also glow when described by those who love them. Through indifferent eyes, they would appear ordinary and deeply flawed. But through eyes of love, these human creatures glow with uniqueness, beauty, and potential. They are genuinely special! Love gives us a glimpse into the lovely and intriguing creations they were designed to be.
God sees each of us through such eyes of love. And He calls us, challenges us, and implores us to see each other as He sees us, through His loving eyes and His loving heart.