If this isn't Love...
"If this isn't love, tell me what it is..." "What would you do if you had no fear? That is what fear is robbing from you." - T.D. Jakes
Vacation Bible School 2010
One of the activities was "If you had to choose one or the other which would it be..."
One of the questions that was asked was this one:
Would you rather love and never be loved
Be loved and never love?
At the time I answered the question truthfully
Without Christ I know I would chose to be loved and not to love
Because then I'd never have to deal with the feeling of rejection...
So yesterday (Sunday) it came to my attention that I am still very flawed in my love walk.
To answer T.D. Jakes' question - if I had no fear I would love people
Extraordinarily and Extravagantly
I would give as much as myself as I possibly could
Without ever once worrying about being taken care of.
I strive to do that now
However, I've been carrying fear in my purse
For so long now that I didn't even notice it was there
This weekend I was forced to take note of some of its effects (unbelief, insecurity, anxiety, living in the past, loss of joy and peace).
The Bible makes it plain
There is no fear in love, because perfect love casts (drives) out fear: for fear brings with it the thought of punishment. The person that fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
I wasn't allowing myself to be made perfect in love.
My brother would always tells me that I'm not a people person and usually I agree
I think of myself as an introvert
But if the truth be told I am very much a people person
But I restrain myself (especially from loving people) out of fear-
Fear that people will look at me as odd
Fear of rejection
Fear of disappointment - whether its me disappointing them or them disappointing me
Fear of trusting people - who are prone to failure
Fear of forgiveness - of truly forgiving the way God forgives
Fear of being burned out!
Just too much fear going on-
And enough is enough
No more of that
If I can trust God with my soul and believe that after I die I'm going to heaven because God prepared a way of salvation for me - then I sure as heaven can trust Him enough to love the people around me that His heart beats for. I can and I must. And so what if people reject me, it's not me it's the love of God they're rejecting.
David says it best "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?" (Psalm118:6) and "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1). I mean seriously, what's the worse that can happen?
Okay worse case scenario someone gets so offended by the love I show them that they kill me - even then Jesus said in Matthew 10:28 "Don't be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear Only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell."
And you know what I've never heard anyone complain that they've being loved too much. I'm not talking about that psycho killer kind of love where someone says "If you leave me I'll kill you because I just love you too much to let you go or if I can't have you nobody will" type stuff. No, I'm talking about the real deal kind of love.
The 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love - where Love
Is not jealous
Is not boastful
Is not proud
Is not rude
Does not demand it's way
Is not irritable
Does not keep a record of being wronged
[or a record of all the good its done]
Does not rejoice in injustice but
Rejoices in truth
Never gives up
Never loses faith
Is always hopeful
Endures through Every circumstance [the good, the bad, the ugly]
Lasts forever and therefore
As I said in my previous post my love resembled agape but it was fraudulent because agape love is unconditional and my love had conditions. Sure I could be patient, kind, and giving etc. but only to a certain extent and there were some people with whom I simply could not tolerate unrequited love - it was painful coming from them whereas from other people it didn't seem like as big of a deal. Because my love was conditional it could max out and when it did I became irritable and impatient and that is not Jesus.
Jesus never went tit for tat - if He did we'd all still be doomed for hell. Jesus loves freely and we are all free to accept it or reject it. I want to love freely the way Jesus did and to be frank I don't have that capacity in my heart but David said that God was the strength of his life and when I make God the strength (the center) of my life then He will be the source of my agape love.
I've been in denial thinking I've been making strides when really I just turned a blinded eye but no more. Love doesn't go looking for flaws in others love actually hides the multitudes of sin (1 Peter 4:8). Love doesn't expose sin to embarrass people love confronts sin to better people.
Locating yourself is very important that's the only way we can better ourselves. For me the issue wasn't really with loving my enemies, that was not where I was struggling. In my case my conditional love was evident and placed more on those closest to me because I suppose I had a higher standard for them when it came to love and reciprocity. Rejection and disappointment was not something I took very well from those people. But I've learned this very important lesson. God is love and God has my best interest at heart. I don't need to worry about covering my own butt and making sure that I won't be hurt or disappointed or rejected because God has already covered me in unfailing love, the grace that I received in the form of Jesus' blood.
If that isn't love...