“Love in the same manner as Christ loved us.” This is repeated multiple times and ways throughout the message of Jesus and the letters in the New Testament.
But, how Lord, how do we love those who are unloveable, who intentionally seem to brush against the raw areas of woundedness in our lives, even the ones who are deliberately (or even thoughtlessly) hurtful or offensive to people and their beliefs, opinions and even faith? So many of the leaders (and their followers) have become very mean and even to the point of promoting hostility, which grates at my spirit that longs for peace and unity. How do I show love to them when it flies in the face of my sense of justice and kindness? Surely I can be civil, but love them? Is love something we can just conjure up – especially when others seem to delight in being oppositional? And in many ways if I am honest, I just don’t want to work at this love. It requires too much of me.
And yet, Lord, You have called us to love and left an example for us to follow. Your love is for ALL, even those who oppose You. “While we were sinners, Christ died for us.” Because of Your love. How can we as a culture move forward instead of backward – from tolerance to acceptance to love? It has to be supernaturally given – there is no natural way to achieve it !
Cindy, there is a progression of steps to loving others as I do. Be warned – Your heart is not a vacuum. If you don’t invest your love toward them, then hate fills and rules your heart.
The path to love as I do begins with humility, which is counter-cultural. It begins by asking to see others as I see them. This opens the door for compassion which opens the way for forgiveness, which in turn allows for love and kindness, which then produces peace.
When you see through your eyes or the eyes of others, your heart gets clogged with information, even misinformation. Possibly incomplete facts and wrong conclusions – but not TRUTH. Then your emotions get caught up and embroiled in it all. BUT you can begin by asking Me to show others to you through MY eyes. My eyes are full of grace and truth. Any other ‘seeing’ is false and not based on truth. Any other perception of another is based upon your self-filters of hurt and blind judgment. And if it is not My judgment, it is not ‘righteous judgment.’
Only when you choose to see others through My eyes, and only My eyes, will you capture My heart for them. Then you can walk in compassion toward them, knowing it is not flesh and blood that you should be warring against, speaking against and harboring negative thoughts about them. That is not My way. If you are to love My way, it can only begin as you see others through My eyes. Then as you pray in obedience and join WITH My heart FOR them, I will fill your heart with compassion. Compassion paves the way for forgiveness – without which you cannot truly love as I love. Forgiveness of others as I have forgiven them paves the way to love as I love. This is how I love you, this is how I love all I have created in My image.
Fill your heart with worship and direct your thoughts toward Me, being thankful in everything I show you. Thankfulness paves the way for Me to work in your life – and yes, through you into the lives of others. Your life is a picture, a visual, of My love. If your eyes are focused on the faults of others, your heart cannot be filled with the fruit of My Spirit. If it is not filled with peace and joy and love, it does not reflect Me, either in what I have for you, or what I have for others through you.
Ponderances of Christ’s call as recorded in Colossians 3:12-17-
One thought on “The rugged path toward love – and peace”
thank you for the reminder, Cindy. yes, facts are not Truth and sometimes they are so incomplete to not even be facts anymore … Love first, love always, only Love remains.