"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12:9-13
I must say that I’ve had a rough week and I have let certain situations and attitudes of people affect me. I can’t help but think about people who are able to still do right by people in spite of negative situations. They always smile, greet, and love people even if hurt by the actions of others; you would never know it unless you knew them. I thank God for people like that because they make a bad day bearable and give hope to those of us who still struggle in this area. I want God to help me become like that.
I can’t say that I’m there yet, but God’s Word continues to work on me daily. I have a choice to be obedient or disobedient everyday and I win some battles and I lose some battles, but when I lose I’m not broken about it. I tend to focus on how I was wronged and my sinful mind goes into this rationalization process to justify my actions. It’s like I excuse it and go with the attitude that it is an expected defeat. Then I read God’s Word and began to analyze my defeats. Scripture tells us all the time not to trust in our feelings, rather but the Word of God. Did I do that…of course not, I let my feelings get the best of me and charge head long into defeat. I chose not to love.
I thought long and hard about my defeats and God’s Word highlighted some deficiencies about my love. My love was a deception of God’s love and a result of my defeats when it comes to loving people. I’m finding out that if your love does not conform to the nature of God, you will continue to be defeated.
Love is the central demand of the New Covenant:
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35
How did God love us?
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." romans 5:6-8
When I look at God’s demonstration of love, I must repent of my sin and ask for God’s help to change me. Do I enjoy sharing my defeats with everybody? No I don’t, but I’d rather be transparent and share my defeats and not only help myself, but others, too, who share my struggle. Love is hard, but it’s not impossible with God. Keep the faith, and never get tired of doing well in spite of the circumstances. Remember, you can change the whole environment by rolling up your sleeves and choosing to show God’s (genuine) love. Pray for me as I pray for you.
Posted on Thu, February 16, 2012
by Scott Stevenson