What’s Love Got To Do With It?

images love

Love is the way by which others will know you. John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Lately I have found myself in many conversations with people from all walks of life, people of faith and those with no faith in any higher power. These conversations, of late, seem to be taking on a pattern of love.

Conversations
We seem to be talking more and more about love and what it means to society; specifically what love,or the lack there of, means to people of all faiths. Or better- what it means to non-believers when they see people of faith exhibiting, what looks to them, to be a lack of love for others, even hate. This is so important a subject to me and my friends (and acquaintances) that we need to put aside our worries of what others may think and have this conversation.

PC Conversations
The world we live in today is full of overly sensitive people who can’t seem to hold a conversation, especially if the conversation is critical of them or their ways, or a difference of opinion. We are a world of overly sensitive PC correct people. Afraid to offend anyone, even if what we have to say is about love.

What do I mean? Well, I want to be able to say that it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I see/read someone doing or saying something, in the name of God, that is mean-spirited or lacking in love! And that is from me, a person of faith for many years now, one who is strong in what she believes and won’t be rocked by the actions of others. I can take it! What it may do to non-believers or new believers is another story! One which I take very seriously.

I want to be able to say, when I see someone invoke the name of God to bash a particular group, that I think not only is it wrong, but I think it does exactly the opposite of what we are here to do- we are here to lead people to faith,but our behavior drives people away from faith…. all faith!  It seems to me that any time I open my mouth in a public forum to say “I think showing intolerance in the name of God is wrong and counterproductive” I get bashed! I’m going to hell because apparently I’m a sympathizer! I’m soft! I walk the middle of the road and that is a dangerous place to be! I find that funny, because I thought I was exhibiting unconditional love. I didn’t know that was wrong. You love the sinner not the sin; right?

It Can Be So Subtle
I know people who speak hate filled words, criticize others and have no thought of it being wrong. They feel they are doing their “religious”  or “moral” duty! They read things like this and think it is not about them. Or they feel I’m wrong. Sometimes this behavior can be so subtle that they don’t even know they are doing it! But aware or not; others will see it. And maybe even worse is that the ones who will see it may be the ones you’re meant to influence; the ones you are meant to lead to God.  And influence them you will..………….

In Love I Say

I just want to say, in love, that when we bash others, when we criticize, when we can’t help but to be intolerant of differences, it does not invoke love and it doesn’t matter how many times you say you do this in the name of God; hate is hate. Love is love. There is a difference, you can put a mask on it and call it religion, but the truth will be seen by the people who matter; the very people you are here to lead.

We’re supposed to lead by example.

WWJD indeed!

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It is not simple…..but it is essential!

 I had a question from a fellow soul searcher(is that a good term? IDK) anyway…..it was regarding “Forgiveness”! ***read previous post to understand question***

 

Her question: “What if you never liked the person? What if you as soon spit on them as look at them because of all the trouble they have caused.”

 

 

This is a great question. It is probably also a pretty obvious one; if you read my post on Forgiveness. So I am glad she asked.

 

Here is my answer!

 

I understand there may be people in our lives as described in the readers question. These people could be family BY LAW, or not, they could just be acquaintances. It doesn’t matter. The point is there could be people in our lives who cause us unrest; even though we never liked them nor were friends with them in the first place. OK. I get it.

 

One of my main points when writing about forgiveness, was for you to think about some redeeming qualities or characteristics that caused you to love the person in the first place. I understand this just does not apply in some cases. There are people who will come into our lives and cause nothing but unrest! They may not even give us a chance to form a relationship, good or bad. Some people may even cause trouble, leave and never be seen again, without us even knowing their name! There are some people (too many) who have been violated by others and they never know who their assailant was! They have wreaked havoc on our lives and caused us to have the “fallout” that is known as unforgiveness hanging over us, for years or even a lifetime. So, you may ask, if we never liked them or maybe never knew them……. how can we find redeeming qualities (or memories) to hang on to….. in order to help us get to forgiveness? What then is the answer?

 

I could spend a lot of time going into this subject. I could probably write a book! But I am going to try and keep to the readers question. In this case she knows the person….just never liked them. The same principles apply to the other cases…..but there is also a lot of “letting go” and more involved. Anyway…read on!

 

Below I offer you my thoughts on this subject. You may accept them or reject them. It will either resonate with you or it will not. It is your choice. And feel free to leave a comment 🙂

 

First of all- whether you love them or whether you dislike them, this is not a simple thing to do! Do not be hard on yourself! This takes work! You will get there….if you want to!

And as I have said before…this is essential to you living your best life! The one that God intended for you!

 

The answer? LOVE. Sounds simple? Yes, but deep too. Starting and probably ending with love…here are my thoughts one by one!

 

1. When you look at this person you need to see GOD. You need to remember that this person was created by God, with the same love that he created you. Remember “Love makes everything holy, since God is love” (1 John 4:8, 4:16). When you look at him/her you need to see God and know that God loves them. And that it is your job to love them, “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”(1 Peter 4:8). This may seem trite to some, or maybe to many. But it is not. It is the Word of God and in God all things are possible ( Matthew 19:26)…so I ask you, how could it not be so?

 

2. Remembering the love of our God and the way he wants you to treat others, may be the only way you can stand to be around this person. You probably should limit your time with these types of people. You really should surround yourselves with positive people. It is good for your soul. But do not deprive this person of God’s love as expressed through your living example. When with them- LOVE them…SHOW them what it means to live God’s word. By doing this you are showing God that you LOVE HIM above all else. This is why you keep His word. “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35)

 

3. Remember, forgiveness is for you. Especially in these situations. How will the person, who you do not even like much,benefit from your forgiveness? Probably not at all; at least not immediately! It is for you! This is your choice. To be right or be happy. To follow God’s word or to do it your way.

 

4. And finally, when going into any situation that you find challenging, remember that you do not go in alone! God is always by your side. Ask Him to let you feel HIS presence. Ask for HIS guidance. HE will give you the strength to stare this person in the face with eyes of Love…with God’s love. Ask HIM to help you get through it with grace, and to let HIS LOVE shine through. Also,if the situation warrants it, let HIM put the right words in your mouth. You could make a difference in someone’s life and isn’t that what we are lead to do? “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

 

I hope this has helped you to understand my point of view on the subject. Hopefully I have not rambled too much!!

Peace and Love~ Christine

Simple Thinking……

toleranceI believe It truly is that simple. I know there are people who feel it is their “station” in life that makes them better than others and more deserving of things. That by birth (or belief) they’re entitled to certain rights and privileges that others are not. That their way is the right way, etc…… I just don’t agree. I guess I am lucky to have been born American and that is why I stay here, I want the freedom to believe this even if you don’t.

I believe whatever I’m entitled to in life, I can’t judge another to be less entitled, less deserving of the same things.  I guess that is why I love this quote.   The word tolerance is a good word yet I feel it being turned around. Every day I feel the word is becoming something akin to racist or bigot. Maybe it is just me…maybe I am overly sensitive, but I feel I hear this word being used by some people to describe a person who is less than desirable, someone who is slipping away from their faith and from God. Again it may be me or may be a religion thing….I don’t know.

What I do know is I love diversity. I love a good (friendly) debate. I love exploring different faiths and the people who are a part of them: and those who have no faith; at least in a deity. I love different people..cultures, thoughts, beliefs.

I want people to tolerate my right to love these things and I will do the same in return. And if you can forgive me my overly passionate writing, then all the better!!  🙂

I spoke to a good friend this morning, he and I have different beliefs, yet we have great conversations and I consider him a good friend and a wise man. I love that we can speak on these subjects and we have tolerance and beyond that…we have a friendship forged out of a common interest and love for humanity. I encourage him and he encourages me.  And we both have a hope for humanity and this hope, whether it is faith-based or man-based, is a hope none the less and it encourages me!

I can ask for no more than to be encouraged in life. I want to wake up each morning knowing there is hope! And I am blessed to see it daily.  I want to believe where there is love there is hope, I will continue to write each day about this love and this hope.

I feel things in life, things that I can’t see, the thing I feel most is love!!  And that gives way to hope.

Naive? Maybe so…..I am OK with that!!  The pure joy I feel when I wake up is because of this feeling, this knowing, God has breathed into my soul this….thing. And I honor it and Him. I always will.  So naïve it is!!

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