Saturday, February 16, 2008

Let me love

So, I'm learning to love. Really love. Loving your neighbor as yourself sounds nice, but in practice? What does that look like? I love how when Jesus was asked, "Who is my neighbor?," his reply was a story that really showed how to be a neighbor as the Samaritan took care of the man along side of the road. If the stranger along the road is my neighbor then, of course, people I know are my neighbor too, so every person, being Created in the image of God is my neighbor. By his answer, I think Jesus was saying, it's more important to focus on how I'm being a neighbor than to worry if someone is my neighbor or not.

I'm memorizing Romans 12 now. I recite I Corinthians 13 to Ezra as I rock him to sleep everyday, now with a new baby on the horizon I figure it's time to introduce another love chapter. Verse ten (in Romans) says to "honor one another above yourselves," and that's what grabbed me. Perhaps it's my all or nothing/black or white concrete thinking that gets me caught up on these details, but prior to reading this I thought we were to view ourselves equally with others. Which is hard enough when we're so chock full of self-esteem and confidence these days. Maybe not everybody, but I've got plenty, just not always in the right things.

I'm finding that loving others is being constantly open to God's love and grace. It's setting aside my sin to listen to what God would have me say or do for each person I come across. So, Lord, let me be eager to share with others when they express a need and not greedy or untrusting in You to provide for my needs. Let me hear the loving words You'd have me share when others confide in me instead of being filled with pride or competitiveness. Lord, let me be quick to forgive when I'm wronged by others, remembering how much you've forgiven me. Help me to not be in such a hurry that I can't listen to someone who wants to talk. Let me be fair if not generous the next time I have to decide how much to tip someone or bargain for a price instead of priding myself on how "frugal" I am or what a great deal I got at some one else's loss. Let me be patient and ask for your wisdom when I'm frustrated or angry with my neighbor. Let my words be encouraging and uplifting not unguarded and wreckless. Let me think outside of myself and rest in You instead of allowing my worries and anxieties about my own busy life block my view of other's true pain and needs. Let me be an open spout of your Love pouring freely though me to others.

Matthew 25:40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Hebrews 13:2
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

1 comment:

Deanne said...

The first and second greatest commandment can be the most difficult to do. We have been working with the kids to learn I Cor 13:4-7. It's a good one for me to be reminded of, and often!