Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Loving In All Circumstances

I love lots of people. I love the people close to me like my husband, my children, my family and friends. Then I love other people, like the stranger who walks past me on the street, condescendingly eyeing my head covering, the lady who cuts in front of me in line at the grocery store, the old man in the car in front of me going 20 clicks when the speed limit clearly states 60.

Yes, I do have difficulty loving some people. I would be lying if I said I didn’t!

That genuine, sincere love in my heart is not there for some as it is for others. It’s a work in constant progress, and I’m a thousand times better at loving people compared to a few years (even a few months) ago - glory be to God! “One does not simply” (I thought of that Boromir meme when I wrote that!) wake up one morning, and decide to love their neighbor as themselves. We can’t do it on our own. It’s impossible. It is a heart change that happens over time, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

If or when someone wrongs or disrespects you, how do you react? Out of anger? Out of hate? Out of means to hurt or disrespect? Out of impulse or misjudgment? Hopefully none of these things, if you are actively striving for God’s standard! Your actions should be out of love, as to clearly demonstrate and outwardly display what is right according to God (Romans 12:9-21). Even if you are wronged by someone who hates you - you should love them. (1 Corinthians 13:13) Do good to them, and pray for them (Luke 6:27-36).

The Gospel is clear: turn away from your sin, accept and believe Jesus Christ, get baptized, live a life in obedience to God. One of the major and most basic “rules” that are required to be a Christian is: to love. Love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:8-10). Things done out of love, in love, with love (that is, the love as defined in the Bible, John 13:34) is the only way!

If we can remember one of the most important things in Christianity, “to love”, even when it’s difficult or seemingly impossible to, the rest easily falls into place. If we consistently pray for our hearts to be changed, to love in all circumstances and not just when it’s convenient or easy for us, how gloriously could we live out our Christian lives?

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