Our family had a wonderful day celebrating our love for each other yesterday. In simple form, there were appropriate amounts of pink, red and white paper products. I carted some red plates up from our basement that my daughter had used when her college colors were red, white and black. Streamers were hung. Notes were written and delivered.
Good day. Simple. Fun. Sweet.
My hubby and I saw a movie and ate at Zoe’s Kitchen (Great food. No reservations. Pay at the register. Wear jeans. My kind of place.)
But that’s Valentine’s Day love. That’s mostly loving people we also LIKE.
Years ago I was struck by a few things that occurred close together chronologically because I believe God was trying to get my attention.
1. Beth Moore explained in one of her videos (I have no idea which one) that God asks us to love everyone, even our enemies. He only asks us to LIKE some.
It hit me between the eyes.
Love EVERYONE. Like SOME.
2. Around that same time I pondered the following verse REALLY HARD.
If you love those who only 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 5:46-48, NIV)
Wow. This means in order for people to see God’s love through me, I would need to have difficult people in my life. Otherwise, I will not stand out. I realized people I know will miss a picture of what God’s love looks like unless I managed to learn to let Him love others through me.
3. Then I ran into this quote. I wish I could tell you where it’s from, but I can only tell you who wrote it. It’s been in my prayer journal so long I have forgotten the exact source page.
No matter what a person may do to me by way of insult or injury or humiliation, I will never seek anything else but their highest good…never…seek anything but the best even for those who seek the worst for me.” William Barclay – Daily Study Bible
Suddenly I wanted to look like that quote. I wanted to become a woman of love. Into my prayer journal this quote went.
I have been praying it — and a few others like it — ever since.
I don’t know how my love journey is going…not really. I was so broken when God came and found me it’s going to be a miracle to turn me into that quote, but I want it, and so does God.
And God wants me to love other broken people like He does.
Broken people (all people) are messy. They require much time to process their brokenness and let God heal wounds. They do not fit neatly in our schedules. REALLY loving people will require me to sometimes (or often) sacrifice my leisure time, my plan for the day, my energy (when I have nothing left at the end of the day), my finances (because sometimes people need help), my desires (because my relationship with someone is more important than choosing where we eat lunch)…and the list goes on.
I have to love people that way because my Savior loved me that way.
In fact, if He had established boundaries for His love for us we would still be waiting for a Savior.
Have you ever considered that?
This post is getting too long. Next week I will continue this thought about establishing boundaries, something we hear a lot about in our society today.
In the meantime, consider asking God to take you on a journey to becoming a woman or man of REAL love…His.
And stay warm. It’s cold even here in the south!
(I usually take down Christmas decorations by January 1, but I like to keep up winter decorations until February. This year I have been looking a little silly, but not this week!)
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