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The Power of Love

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose: The Power of Love

Tuesday

The Power of Love

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Confrontation that Rewards


There are times when I love confrontation. Truth be told, I have a warrior personality and love good debates. The problem is that "debate" usually devolves into argument and argument devolves into fighting and sometimes fighting can begin wars that seem to go on for ever. 

I believe this is why James cautioned so strongly against strife. "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." James 3:16 

Yet we know from Jesus's life there is confrontation that is acceptable. He did not begin overturning tables in the Temple because he needed the exercise, though this was the extreme version of confrontation. Actually he confronted opposing ideas with almost every encounter with the "religious" people. Then, in the desert, when he fasted for forty days, he confronted the enemy directly. Every time we see Jesus confront something (like an idea) or someone (like a Pharisee or even Satan himself) he did so with the word. 

So how are we to handle confrontation? With the word and with love. 


'No, we will speak the truth with love. We will grow to be like Christ in every way..." Ephesians 4:15 ERV

It's All About the Love

Love is counter-intuitive to our human nature. We expect love from loved ones, but from strangers? From enemies? No. 

This is the thing that makes us different from the world.  Jesus said

"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike]. For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that? You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:44-48 AMP
I confess I have not always lived up to this standard. As a matter of fact, I cannot say I have ever fully lived up to this once. But I strive to. My prayer is that I will love like God, and begin to see the value of others even when they are rude, crude, or downright mean to me. 


Where is the Disconnect?

 Jesus commands us to walk in love. It is clear as day. And if we are to be like Christ, who asked for God to forgive the very people who were murdering him as they did it, we have a long way to go. Why do we have such a difficult time walking in this love? 

I don't know about you, but for me it is ego

Somehow I have believed the lie that I have a right to be angry. I have a right to stand up for myself. I have a right to speak my mind. As a citizen of the USA, these may be true, but as a citizen of heaven, a child of a Godly kingdom, these things are NOT true. 

I have been bought with a price. I am not my own anymore. I represent more than just myself. The old "Dayna" is dead and therefor all of her rights have passed. Now I have an advocate named Jesus who stands in the gap for me. I have no right to my body, it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I have no right to be angry at another person to the point I become bitter. My heart (and the emotions of it) belong to God. I have no right to think I am better than someone else because I was lost and dying and but for the grace of God I would be no different than anyone else. I am no different than anyone else

To think of myself more highly than I ought to is sin. It places me (my rights, my thoughts, my opinions) above what God says. No wonder I have a hard time loving others, I am too busy with self-aggrandizement. 

Matthew 6 says "Seek ye first the kingdom of God"  not "seek ye first the rights of Dayna"...

My Prayer

Lord, let me love like you. Let me see myself as you do, but always remembering the grace and love that got me here. Father help me see the value in people and remember that if I love like you, then more people will come to know your love and know you as a result. Love replicates love. Forgive me for thinking and living as if I have any rights to put myself before others. Help me to serve others (Christians or not) with love. Help me love lavishly and with extraordinary patience. In the name of Jesus, your son, who gave us victory when He gave His life and in whom I live and breathe and have my very being. Amen. 

This is a scripture I came across last night that I hope gives you hope... 

"Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life." James 1:12 The Message

Join the Conversation

Why do you think it is so hard to show love to other people? 

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