“I cannot worry much about your sins and miseries when I have so many of my own. I can only love you all, poor fellow travelers, fellow sufferers. I do not want to add one least straw to the burden you already carry. My prayer from day to day is that God will so enlarge my heart that I will see you all, and live with you all, in love.” — Dorothy Day (from The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus)
Scariest verse from my reading this morning: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” (Matt. 22:29) Continue reading “Keep it simple”
Reading for today:
Ps. 30, 32, 42, 43
John 17:20-26 Continue reading “The withdrawing hand of God”
Reflections the day after another school shooting.
We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. Our biggest question then becomes, “Well, what do you mean by ‘love’?” Continue reading “The impossible task of defining “love””
“… I would argue that the instruction to love enemies is ‘the very genius of Christianity.’ And this ‘genius’ command mandates nothing less than that we are to demonstrate to all people the kind of love God demonstrated toward us while we were yet enemies (Rom. 5:10; Eph. 5:1-2). This is precisely why, after defining the kind of love that characterizes God by pointing us to Jesus’s death on the cross, John immediately adds: ‘And we ought to lay down our lives for one another’ (1 John 3:16, italics added).” — Greg Boyd, Crucifixion of the Warrior God
The discovery of the Creator is not only the belief in the First Cause… It is also — and first and foremost — the discovery of love. To create means not only to reveal power, omnipotence that surpasses all, but also it means: to give being, existence and goodness, therefore — to love! — Pope John Paul II, In God’s Hands: The Spiritual Diaries of Pope Saint John Paul II.
“Love is not merely affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.” (CS Lewis)
1 Cor. 13:6 — Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (NIV)
The careful walk we must take in the Spirit is to understand we want to communicate with kindness, but we cannot work so hard on being kind that we neglect truth. Then, there is the other side that gives little regard for kindness because TRUTH is to vital to them.
If we work so hard to be kind but neglect truth, we imperil others who are obviously ignoring something that bring LIFE. But truth delivered without compassion or kindness is likely to fall on deaf ears.
What brings that balance is the powerful love of God. It is sincere love that causes us to wake up to truth and then long for Kingdom rightness to be brought into the lives of others. It is a heart with feeling compassion that draws us to others and with every possible means we want to bring TRUTH into other lives. The heart truly set free by Christ longs for truth in others and does its best to communicate with kindness.
But the truth spoken in love doesn’t always meet with “positive” results. The thing to remember then is that the results are not up to us. We don’t get to dictate the response at the altar call. We WANT to manipulate that response, but a heart set free by Christ will not let that happen.
Speak truth in love. Rejoice in truth. Rejoice in loving others. Do not manipulate others for response. Bring Kingdom rightness and let the Spirit bring the results.
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:2-3, NIV)