To Love or Be Loved?

In my mind it’s clear: I need to listen better, talk less and not care so much whether folks agree or disagree with me, like or accept me or not.

Whether or not someone seems to fully love or hate you doesn’t make the world spin nor stop spinning. Whether or not we love them is the only thing in our power to control.

The problem heats up when we feel deeply hurt in our emotions, when the world indeed seems to fall on us due to someone being cold or even hostile to our way of thinking.

Sometimes we might go to the other extreme in our feelings, that is, we get bitterly angry and sort of day-dream how we’re winning an argument, laying our “four aces” on the table, perhaps flipping the table ON the dude (or dudette!) and just walking off with the victory… don’t we ;)!

Amazing, we humans.

We can be the most sublime, thoughtful, careful and deeply kind -or on the turn of a tale, the most brutal, coarse and nasty people on the planet.

This is where prayer and thought before speaking, hitting “send” in our email or Facebook or Twitter can make all the difference.

There truly IS a time to speak and another time where it’s best to remain completely silent.

“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.” 1 Peter 2.15

We need to do God’s will from a motive of love, not winning, not with regard to publicity campaigns, not to “prove ourselves” this way or that. Merely to love with God’s love. REALLY not always easy nor fun, but the core of our calling.

In the end life isn’t about winning or losing. In fact there is a sense in which it’s not even about being right or wrong, (“all have sinned and fallen short”) -rather it’s about loving and offering grace… which is something by very definition, cannot be earned. We are called to simply give it (grace= unmerited favor).

Love is patient, kind, well… you can read all about what love is and isn’t in 1 Corinthians 13.

What about false accusations? There is a time to respond and a time to simply pray for the person(s) and continue serving God and others in love. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12.18 That is, do what’s in your power, but you cannot make others think the way you do, so leave them to God. Fretting over things (and certainly warring about things) won’t change anyone’s heart.

Repent where you must. Leave the rest to the “one Who judges justly”. Walk on.

I suppose there is a little bit of the guy from North Korea in all of us… though we shrink at the thought! Rather, he needs to stand down. Just back up and back off. But oh how we want our way at times… I have seen people burn so many bridges they eventually have none left. The island is stark and the worst pain stares at them from their own mirror.

I deeply loved my Mom. Yet my mother grew so distrustful and bitter of others that over time, living in her own guilt and shame she eventually drove nearly everyone who ever loved her away. There is no life in that.

So what if you truly believe you’ve been righteous in all your ways? Welllll, not likely. I believe this to be true about you, me, everyone.

Then again, even the sinless One seemed to “lose” in this life. But like they say in the tv adverts… “But WAIT! There’s more!!” In this case, there truly is. There is a love that’s built on truth, but does not “demand it’s own way”.

Hmmmm. Being loved is a “maybe”. Our own ability to love others is always possible.

Thanks for considering and stopping by!

-Glenn

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