Here is a blog I wrote in September of 2010! This was just a little over eight years ago! And the message is still a passion of my heart. xo
My all-time favorite Bible verses are these:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:18-19).
The reason these are my favorite Bible verses is because they ring true with the cry of my heart. I want to love, and I want to love deeply. And I don’t just mean romantic love. . . though I long for that, too. But I just want to love the people in my life with a pureness. I truly believe that if we would apply the principles from these two verses to our lives, each of our lives would be much more fully enriched. The following two points are what I love most:
1. Fear prompts selfishness, and if we are loving as we ought, there are no strings attached. If we aren’t living in fear, then we are not worried and fixated upon ourselves. So many times many of our actions and thoughts that aren’t loving are there because we are scared of getting hurt. We are insecure people. And ironically, we often cover up our insecurity with pride. But the truth is that “perfect love casts out fear”. Love has nothing to do with fear. When we love perfectly, there are no walls up. Yet, there are appropriate boundaries in place. Loving well doesn’t mean always saying and / or doing what feels best. Loving well means saying or doing what is best for the other person. Sometimes the other person is not ready to handle all we’d otherwise want to share. And sometimes our feelings, when checked properly, do not always match up with the facts of truth. We must use discernment.
2. Love is not manipulative. It gives freely. A heart that’s full of love is a heart that can freely give love. A heart that is longing for love is a heart that is a leach. True love is given without strings attached. The Bible says that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Christ did not forgive us if / when we became a follower of him. He forgave us before we were even born. He forgave us over 2,000 years ago. And he knew from all eternity past what each of us would do (and think and feel) that was wrong, and he already made the choice to enter into space and time and die in our place for our sins.
That, my blogger friend, 🙂 is what enables us to love freely. We can love because we have been loved. We can be treated poorly by others because we know that we do not need another person’s returned love. We can be betrayed and still opt to forgive once we have experienced the reality that we have been forgiven.
Our society has done an awful job of portraying what real love is. It’s not a mere feeling. And we’re not victims to falling in love. We have been wired to be able to make choices. We can choose to love. Does rejection hurt? . . . worse than anything else in the planet! And the more you love someone, the deeper the pain of their rejection will bring. Going ‘out on a limb’ is not easy. It’s not even natural. It’s supernatural.
But we’ve been called to love. Period. In fact, Jesus said that the world will know we are Christians by our love! Wow, how far has the Church strayed!
I love this quote I read this morning, which prompted me to write this blog post:
The mercy of Christ preceded our mistakes; our mercy must precede the mistakes of others. Those in the circle of Christ [Jesus’ “disciples” or followers] had no doubt of his love; those in our circles should have no doubt about ours (from Just Like Jesus, by Max Lucado).
BE LOVED. AND LOVE DEEPLY. . . PURELY . . . FREELY.