Gratitude Day 309
Sat., July 26, 2019
Romans 13:10 – Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.
Nearly every day, people share with me how someone has hurt them.
Sometimes, it’s intentional. Sometimes, maybe not. Other times, it’s a situation where we want to be right. And so, we plow right through other’s feelings only concerned for our point of view and opinion.
It hurts to watch this happen.
It hurts when you are the one on the receiving end of a situation.
I disappoint myself when I know I probably affected someone else today.
Somewhere along the line, our culture has failed us. We’re spent so much effort and energy into making sure our voice is heard that we’ve sometimes stopped listening to voices other than our own. I’m an advocate for fairness and equality and justice. Unfortunately, in the process, we now throw around these words like Scobie snacks. When we feel the least bit offended, rather than truly listening to someone else, we go on the defense and begin to point out where we have been wronged.
Let me be clear. There are often times when people have been wronged … and should speak up. Yes, do bring to attention where there are inconsistences. Yet, when we spend our entire lives looking for where we have been wronged, I feel like we put a lot of energy into a negative starting point versus a positive starting place.
I so want to scream to the world, “Can we please just take a step back and remember to love one another?”
I want to please those muddled in conflict to remember, “The person you are speaking with is a beloved child of God … just as you are.”
I desperately want us to say to our kids and grandkids, “Even if you didn’t achieve what you would have liked, I pray you learned something from this, had fun and know there are opportunities for growth.” Instead, too often, I hear parents pointing out where someone else received preferential treatment and didn’t “earn” something they felt their kid deserved.
For the love of God, can we just listen to ourselves and our words?
I’ve been reading through the book of Romans lately. IT. IS SO. GOOD. Give yourself a gift and for the next 16 or so days, read one chapter of the book each day. Really read the words. Paul wrote these words to a church in Rome that he had never been to. He knew this church was struggling with how to fit into their modern-day, changing society and culture. (Sound a little familiar?) I’m convinced Paul’s words speak to us today … if we allow them.
Listen to these profound words from Romans 12:8 – Let no debt remain outstanding, except for the continuing dept to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
Paul wants to help the baby-Christians in Rome understand how to interpret the endless and often confusing law found in our Old Testament with the new covenant of Jesus Christ. Where do you choose the ancient Jewish law? When does Jesus words, the Son of God’s words, take precedence over these sometimes seemingly crazy laws?
Here’s Paul’s answer: the only debt we have to society is the continuing debt to love one another. Period. That’s it. When we love other people, we are already fulfilling the law.
Please, oh, please can we stop trying to figure out what is more important than loving other people? It’s pretty clear to me there is only one thing great than this. This is to love God. After this, let’s simply love everyone.
Humans with warts and all.
People who are sinful and shameful.
Those who might drive us crazy and irritate us to no end.
Just love them.
They don’t have to be our best friends.
We don’t have to agree with them.
We just have to love them.
We’ve spent so much time making sure we love ourselves that at times, we have totally forgotten to love the other. The other person who desperately wants love, just as we do.
So, for today, can we just take a break and not speak ill of anyone else? Can we listen when someone wants to speak and not make sure our voice is not louder? Please, can we try to not hurt someone with our thoughts and wishes and simply accept them for who they are?
Yes, I want us to help develop folks who are passionate about things they care for. But I also feel that we can put some much emphasis on ourselves and our position that we’ve forgotten to see beyond our own noses.
Try to love that person who is almost unlovable today. As you try to love that person, maybe someone else who struggles with you is trying to love you unconditionally today. And yes, maybe they to, are struggling.
Today is a good day. God is with us. God loves us. Let’s be the ones who break down the law into simply loving others. Nothing more. Nothing less. Let’s make it not just a good day but a great day.
For God’s unconditional love that is so hard to explain and live myself, I am grateful.
Almighty God – It’s sometimes so difficult to imagine how You continue to love us, even when we make it difficult to be loved. Yet, you never stop loving and caring for us. May we deeply desire to be true agents of love rather than hurt, disappointment and self-centeredness. Amen.
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