Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Loving

Loving well is one of the most ambiguously described and yet desired things in this life.

Lately I have been mulling over this concept and applicability in my life. In certain situations we have a choice whether to act out of impulse or out of a place of true love. I don't mean romantic love in the slightest. That is a whole separate issue that requires experience and success which I do not currently have an authority to critique.

What does it truly mean to love well? 
Can each of us truly say that we love without the expectation of being served back? 
Can we ask the Lord what He thinks about them?

Jesus was the ultimate example of a love well lived. He continually loved those without the capacity to love Him back. The woman at the well had nothing to offer him and the woman dragged to who was caught in adultery was only covered in her shame. He loved even in the midst of literally being crucified.

My own personal experience with this idea of loving without limits has hit me square in the face with my own ineptitude in love. Will I lay my offense, my emotions and my will down for long enough to ask the Lord what He says about them in an effort to love them beyond what I have the capability to do?

It's easy to stay in offense. It's simple to write people off as "crazy" "broken" or "too far gone" but that's not a kingdom philosophy nor is it a culture that I want to create for myself. Jesus caught flack for socializing with sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes. If that's how Jesus was, then that is precisely what I want to live my life for. 1 Corinthians 13:3 states:

"And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and thought I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me NOTHING" (Emphasis added)

Our deeds do not guarantee us anything in life. I can lay down my own life without changing my heart and out of a selfish motive to look like a superhero. Love requires selflessness; which is not a trait taught to us normally. We are taught to look out for our own interests and yes, it is important to guard our hearts but that does not negate the necessity of sacrificial love.

Selfless love looks like fighting for someone else rather than serving our own destiny. We must fight for one another's destiny in God and carry one another through the difficult times. We sign up to be emotional support which translates to the most committed cheerleader you've ever seen. In life we need people in our corner and we need to be in others corner. And some will fight us being in their corner harder than we could have expected. Fear separates us from emotional vulnerability and the omission that we actually need someone to depend upon.

What makes this fight easier is asking the Lord what He says about the person you're praying/fighting for and listening to His plans and destiny for them. When we see people how The Lord sees them and the value they have in His eyes, it removes all offense and we gain a passion to see them where they should be.

Isaiah 61 holds so much for me personally and when re reading it to get me passionate for fighting for my own destiny in the Lord I came across the latter part of verse three and it struck me with such significance and I believe ties in intrinsically with this theme.

"To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified." (Isaiah 61:3)

We are fighting for those that THEY may be planted in the Lord and that THEY may be trees of righteousness not us. I don't know about you; my readers, but this shakes me with the value that the Lord places on how much we fight for one another. 

I want to love thoroughly well and without limits so that one day I can see others fulfilling their destinies in the Lord. I want to love as Jesus loves me.

That's how I want to effect change in the world. 

So learn to love well!