Hello Friends, I am continuing the “What has #Love Got to Do with it” blog I started yesterday exploring the issue of #TheBaitOfOffense which threatens agape, and also #How to Love each other! Im going to share some great insights from the holy spirit, the word, personal experiences and life lessons and I pray it challenges you to choose #Love
- I AM OFFENDED. I AM HURT. SO WHY SHOULD I LOVE?
I completely emphathise with you that you might be justifiably offended but in this world offenses will come as Jesus warns in Luke 17:1. Even John the Baptist was offended when after he had preached a saving Jesus, he himself was arrested. But Christ warned against the bait of offense by saying “BLESSED are those who are not OFFENDED in me” (Matt 11:6)! Because offense gets you worked up and can put bitterness in your heart and distract you and rob you of your joyful countenance and fullness in Christ. I know it because I have allowed offense to victimize me before and i am telling you how I came out of it into a better place. In this flesh, we will surely rub each other in the wrong way. My spiritual mentors tell me that even married couples do sometimes rub each the wrong way. In school when we work in teams, there is bound to be conflict, contention and conspiracy. In relationships, sometimes there might be disappointments or one party taking advantage of another or failing to meet his/her responsibility or honor their commitment etc BUT…
- GOOD NEWS FOR THOSE WHO LOVE
….. the GOOD NEWS is: every difficult situation/person you meet is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your love! Otherwise of what benefit is the fruit of the spirit you are bearing?
“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!”- Luke 6:32
There is little credit- if any- in loving only those you can reciprocate your love. Then that would be conditional love and if you only love on condition, then why should you get credit for that kind of “cheap love”? What effort does it take to love people who love you? Do you know where the REAL credit lies? It is in loving those who actually don’t deserve your love! And that is exactly what Christ did by laying down his own life for us. Because there is Blessing honour, Glory and even power in it! ((See 2 Tim 1:17, Luke 6:35). Your demonstration of love even in hard places is an OPEN DOOR to you being blessed, receiving honor and even walking in power!
Honestly, I am NO longer moved by the GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT ( 1 Cor. 12:8-10) IF the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT (Gal 5:22) is lacking in someone because “if I prophesy and speak in divers tongues and I don’t have LOVE…..Ah, then what exactly should I be so enthused about here? Listen, the spirit of the Lord can COME UPON anyone and they can surely prophesy etc (1 Sam 19:23), no doubt. But Love is an ACTION. It does fall on you like rain; YOU actually have to CHOOSE to receive love and GIVE love…And not many make that choice! But today, I trust that as you lay your head down to sleep, go to work, school or wherever, you will make that choice to walk in Love 🙂 .
SO HOW DO I LOVE OTHERS AS CHRIST LOVED?
- SEE PEOPLE AS CHRIST SEES THEM: This might surprise you but do you know Christ even loves the one that has hurt you? I am not saying he loves the fact that a brother or sister is hurting you; but he loves the offender enough to change his/her heart. (2 Peter 3:9) and this truth was a bitter pill for me to swallow prior to maturing in the Lord. Some of you are wondering why God is blessing that brother/sister you are mad at. You see, the love of God is demonstrated in justice but in mercy TOO. Now, if you really have been legitimately untreated fairly, taken advantage of, abused etc why don’t you let the Lord judge your case and restore you and help the offender come to an awareness of the right way? (Joel 2:25, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) In the natural world actually, the proper legal way to make your case is to present it to a judge and with the advocate of a lawyer. You don’t go and aggressively battle the other person in front of the judge lest you lose your case so please stop fighting people with subtle cues on social media! God is a loving father and because of his love, he is moved by your concerns and equally moved by the repentance of the offender too. He will sort it out fairly….in LOVE. so instead of getting worked up, ask the Lord to give you eyes to see the way he does and a heart to love the way he does.
2. BE SELFLESS: Love in itself is a spiritual force that seeks the welfare of another. Now this is different from parasitic and abusive relational dynamics in family, church, relationship, etc. The Christ-kind of BROTHERLY love is first loving oneself and then giving that love although Love is not self-engrossed and self-gratifying. Anything contrary to this is the lust of the flesh and the pride of life ( 1 John 2:16) and it does not come from God. Selfishness is a form of pride because it authorizes you to only see situations and problems in your own eyes and not through the perspective of Christ. By so doing you get easily engrossed with the offense instead of the solution. Now selflessness does not mean you should not set HEALTHY boundaries in order to avoid offense traps. Remember, Love protects ( 1 Cor. 13:7) so being selfless does not mean exposing yourself to harm on purpose or entertaining emotional, verbal and physical abuses so that you can be called a “loving person”. Please don’t be deceived. Love is kind and it protects! Be kind to yourself also! In fact if you don’t, then it equates to you not loving yourself because Bible said LOVE OTHERS the WAY you LOVE yourself. If you are just exposing yourself to unhealthy situations that threaten your capacity to love properly then that is unwise. But I trust the you will make a wiser choice because as much as Love is selfless, it also protects.
- BE Led by the SPIRIT & Not RULED by the FLESH: Whenever someone offends me, treats me badly or hurts me, I make a conscious effort to avoid feeding into my flesh: i.e. reacting in order to feel self-gratification or equality. Does that mean I don’t feel the pain of it? Of course I do! I am not only spirit but body and soul too. But just because I feel something in the flesh doesn’t mean I should be ruled by it. Otherwise, we are in trouble because in this flesh– at least mine and Pauls- there is no good thing! (Romans 7:18). Rather, the Christ-like way is to communicate love by seeking to understand the perpetuator. What is going on with him/her? Do they need help themselves? Are they bitter or misled? Where can I help them and pull out their true Christ-like potential out of them? By so doing I remove myself from a victimized position and take control of my emotions and I exercise my will-power and Christ-like maturity to free myself from the bait of offense lest I get entangled! Tell yourself, “I will be led by the spirit and not governed by my flesh”, Amen.
4. BY EXERCISING YOUR FREEDOM TO CHOOSE LOVE OVER HATE: People don’t realize that they have the power to CHOOSE their REACTIONS and so they have cheaply sold off their will- power by carrying a victimized mentality and hoping for an apology to be comforted. What if the offender never apologizes? Will you carry the burden of a grudge forever and yet trumpet Christ? I hope not. May you break free from that in Jesus name! Pray for the offender and yourself too! My friends, while we make choices, let us also remember to own up to the RESPONSIBILITY that comes with the CHOICES we make. How I have matured in Christ is by being yielded to the holy spirit, depending on him and dieing to this unreliable thing called flesh. I have had to mature through my Christian walk by CONSCIOUSLY making a DAILY DECISION to do so; I talk to the Lord about it and allow him to help me anytime I face a problem and ask him to give me his perspective on any situation I face which threatens true agape and connection. Will you talk to the Lord tonight? Because he will hear you whenever you call on him…
Love is important. Love is Christ-like. Love is all that matters because If we have all the gifts but not Love, our faith has no substance. I challenge you to accept Jesus, submit to him and receive his love so that you can demonstrate it because I know you can do it by the help of the holy spirit. Why don’t you go ahead and just speak to the Lord right now and ask him to enable you to #love as Christ did. He is helping you even right now! Amen
Send questions and thoughts over via comment section. I gladly welcome them…in love 😉 lol
Next post: What has #Joy Got to Do with it #FruitOfTheSpirit
Stay in Love,