Love works. Sounds simple, surely, but it’s not really. Love and joy are not circumstantial. Love, joy, peace, patience; are solid, unchanging, unconditional, steadfast, because they are fruit of the Holy Spirit who is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is who He is regardless of circumstances, people or anything. “No weapon formed against you will prosper” because “greater is His who is in you than He who is in the world.” Love is greater. Love will overcome. Love is the answer. Love is the key.
People around me (and you) are not the way they are because that’s the way they want to be. Just like you and me, the things they do that we hate… they hate too! They just don’t know a better way. Love will make a way. Love shows a way. “If we have not love, we have nothing.”
Anger, bitterness, resentment, control, depression, tears, rage, violence, ignoring, yelling, fighting, quarrelling, many words- these don’t work. Trust me; I’ve tried. These are the way of the world. “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world. But, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is. His good pleasing and perfect will!” Love. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. So elementary. So foundational. So simple. But, O so very true: key: critical: life changing.
It’s all about love! “God is love.” “The greatest of these is love!”
I’ve come to realize that when somebody fails…again…and again, they don’t need punishment. They are already beating themselves up. They need comfort and encouragement, unconditional love. This is God’s idea of restoration to success and healing. Punishment is a way of producing fear. “Perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears has not been made perfect in love.” “Kindness leads to repentance.” Love them to life!
It’s so much easier to be a tyrant and pull your weight to manipulate people to action. But that certainly isn’t Christ-like. “The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in love.” Though we fail him, again and again, “yet He has compassion on us”. We obey his commands not because we fear he will squash us if we don’t (that’s only true if we don’t know Him.) Those in relationship with the Father obey him because we love him! “We love him because he first loved us.” “Love covers over a multitude of sin.” Love forgives “seventy times seven”. “Love is not self-seeking.” “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” Love bears with one another and forgives one another. “Love always hopes. Love always perseveres.” “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world.” “Overcome evil with good.” Love is not easy. Love is good. “God is love.” God is good. Love is good. “Love never fails.” Love is the key. “Without love we have nothing.”
October 4, 2011