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Learning about loving

May 9, 2008

1 John 3:23-24 “And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love on another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”

God’s word tells us to love each other. Have you ever thought about what that looks like? Does how you express love to someone else come across to them as love? Each person is different, and their story, temperament, and perceptions affect how they view love. The Word gives us a picture of what love should look like though. In 1 Corinthians it describes love as patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not rude or self seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs. It rejoices in truth. It ALWAYS protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres.

This week a friend who has been walking through a long ongoing struggle made the choice to bring it to an end. His choice is confusing to those of us left behind because we did care for him, but as the body of Christ we didn’t love him well enough. Others have said he was hard to love, didn’t receive love, or chose to live without love. Those descriptions make me angry because they justify our actions. The truth is our love for Alex didn’t always protect him, provide hope, build trust, or persevere. He was turned away, let down, and hurt by our church community. A few months ago he told me that he has lowered his standard and no longer believes Christians will be faithful and live by God’s word. This week, I grieve the loss of my friend, I grieve the reality of my sin, I grieve the sin of others around me, and I grieve with God that his truth and ways are not being lived out well.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2008 10:29 am

    hey sherie, gosh i hope you remember me. i’m afraid i understand what alex was feeling. im being in his shoes right now… even though it doesnt change my mind about god or what i stand for,but it makes life a lot harder . my friends in church care so much about me and i so appreciate that because they are not forced to, they choose to.. but sometimes i find non believing frnds to be more dependable on when im in trouble, because they have shunned me many times because i have some weaknesses, or im in a situation where they dont want anything to do with. So most of the time when i am in a bad situation its just me thats struggling with it and to top all that of with, I have to put up a happy and nothings wrong attitude in church because the last time i needed help from church, they wanted me out of it. sometimes it feels like i dont even qualify or have the right to voice out these disappointments because i am not as good or perfect as they are. i have my downfalls. but im just sad i have to get out of them by myself, and although i know that god is there right beside me, i often feel like I am all alone in this huge huge world, and it scares me to a point i wake up at nights shivering wondering omg, everyone i know shuns me away at some point.. what if god does the same too? its mindblowingly scary. all my life, i know i can never be loved, and being rejected way to often, its very hard to get a grip that god loves me. i guess I’m still in denial. i wont be surprised if my voicing out to you makes you go defensive. other bloggers have done that to me. i voice out something that doesnt involve bible verses or something like this and they ask me not to visit their blogs because i have a discernment. i stil have no idea what that means..

    miss you lots..

  2. August 31, 2008 4:05 pm

    Joanna,
    Absolutely I remember you. I was just on your blog today to see the videos you posted. I haven’t been blogging or commenting on others blogs much lately, but I am reading them.

    I am so sorry to hear how you are feeling. First, know that nothing you said makes me feel defensive or frustrated with you. If anything it makes me want to reach out and share with you more. All are welcome at my blog, even those I completely disagree with, but that is not what I hear from you, what I hear from you is a heart that is seeking and not being met on the other side. I can tell you that I can understand. I have spent most of my life feeling like I didn’t fit in and didn’t have a place. I have been told I am unhealthy, unwanted, unwelcome, and have been shunned. During points in my life that has been because of struggles I have been walking through, but it has also been because of the beliefs I carry. The more I pursue after God and desire to be like him and change to be like him the less I fit in with people, even those who call themselves Christians. Those who have turned you away or who have felt like what you have brought to them is “too much” are trying to respond out of their humanness, not as a vessel God is trying to use. You are not too much for God, and he will never turn away from you or me. I have even reached a point of trying to make him turn away, but he doesn’t. Instead he comes back with gentleness and love and whispers how deeply he cares and what he will do (such as going to the ends of the earth) to get me.

    My heart grieves for all you have been through and how others have treated you. You have been hurt, abandoned, and mistreated. You have been rejected, and shunned. Those feelings are horrible. The pain from that can run so incredibly deep. All I can do is listen, pray, and tell you with everything I know to be true that God is right here with you. You are loved, you are cared about, and you matter. I am here if you need to talk more. You are very precious and important!

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