Love cannot be earned, it is a gift. (Trust can, and must, be earned – but love is invariably given). How can we give what we do not have? It has to start somewhere!
That’s what Jesus does, you know… we love Him for He first loved us. He poured His love into us, giving us the ability to love at all. We can then choose to love Him or not. If we love Him, we display it by obeying His commandments (which is an impossible task without His Holy Spirit within us). Loving truly is necessarily a journey towards Christ. He gives us Himself, which enables us to love Him, which brings us closer to the source of the love… it’s a *good* spiral!
When we’re looking for the answer to “How can I love this person?” – the answer is “by loving as Jesus loved”. Ask for help. Ask for strength. Ask for the wells of *your heart* to be refilled. Take time to be with Him, to read and pray and just chill out. (The just chilling out is important!)
It’s so easy for the Jello Salad Contingent to think that we’ve got it all together and that we shouldn’t bother Jesus by asking Him to fill our hearts up. We try to love out of our own wells of heart, and eventually we come up dry – if we’re lucky. Too often what we find instead of pure water is poison, either subtle or direct. The truth of the heart pours out through the mouth… and the actions… -shudder-
When I try to take love into my own hands, I’m saying that I’m good enough to handle this on my own. And we think that we ought to be “good enough” … without Jesus! But that’s NEVER what He asks us to be. He asks us to give over our wills to Him, to let Him act through us. He doesn’t ask us to generate emotions, He doesn’t ask us to *not* have emotions. He expects us to *give them to Him*. All of them – and right away, too!
I can’t do this life thing on my own. You know, we say that a LOT. Christians do, anyway. But do we act like it? Or do we just do the mechanical stuff and pretend that we’re good to go after that? Do we open our hearts to Jesus and let Him in totally? Are we ready to obey the command to pray without ceasing? You know, He commanded us to do that – so we’re pretty much *not* bugging Him when we obey. 🙂
Opening to Him is scary We can pretend to hide behind not-praying-unceasingly. Keep that little gnarly thought to ourselves, confess it later if we remember it later… but if we’re in connection to Him, it’s going to get called out then and there. So inconvenient! And He might ask us to do things we don’t *really* want to do. He’s such a gentleman, He’ll back off the very second we pull away. How often we pull away…. how it must sadden Him.
There’s a goal. To not pull away. To let go, and obey that command, to pray unceasingly, to be in total communion with Jesus our Lord. I think *maybe* that might improve my ability to love unconditionally.
What do you think? 🙂