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Do They Know Me By My Love?

Posted on Aug 16, 2012 by in Uncategorized | 7 comments

Nope.

Some of them don’t.

It’s true. I don’t love everyone. I don’t know how to love people who continuously and willingly make the same stupid choices over and over.  I don’t know how to love people who claim they’re Christian, yet, their fruit is rotten. I don’t know how to love fake people. Or people who knowingly lie and cover up their lies with other lies and then pretend it’s my fault I don’t love them.

and is it my fault?

probably.

likely.

Do I choose to not love at times?

Yes. Yes I do.

Does that mean I’m not a real Christian?  I guess it does to some people.

I’ve been reading this book and at once I want to throw it across the room and also be the person of God the author is.  He keeps telling me how furiously God loves me (and I’m believing it) and then he tells me how, through that love, the love in me should pour out and I should be known as God’s by the love I choose to give.

And then he suggests

“…reach out a hand of reconciliation to someone you’ve estranged. It might mean making a telepone call to somebody with whom you’ve had a conflict. It might mean making a long distance phone call to someone in your family that you haven’t talked to in years.”

My problem with choosing to do such a thing is that the people that I’ve had conflict with are extremely toxic to me.  It would be like me driving down a deserted highway at night, alone, and stopping to pick up a hitchhiker. When stopped, my lights shine on him and he’s big. He’s got a gun. He has blood splatters on his body. And what’s that in his suitcase? Is there blood leaking out of there? Ah whatever. Get in Buddy! Where ya headed? Oh yeah? Me too? Can you believe it?  Buckle up. Here we go!!

The people we’re talking about aren’t just hard to deal with. If I allowed them back in my life, they would be like parasites. They would undo all the hard work I’ve done on the road to gaining some semblance of an emotionally healthy life.  How do I know this? Because I’ve given almost all of them more than one chance.

To make matters worse, I have this personality type that only like 1% of the population has. And that personality type makes it difficult for me to maintain relationships because I have this super low bullshit tolerance level. On top of that, I have like zero mercy or empathy.  And if that isn’t enough, my spiritual gifting is in the area of discernment, wisdom, and prophecy (and no, that does not mean telling the future. It means telling the truth.)

“Romans 12:6  ”…if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith.”

Here Paul links prophecy with faith. The gift of prophecy is closely connected to faith. The prophet
speaks out boldly. Why? Because he sees the truth, he knows it’s the truth, and he believes that God means
what He says. So, the prophet has faith in God and in God’s Word. In that faith, the prophet speaks boldly
and clearly.

Sometimes that boldness and clarity of expression can be misinterpreted as a lack of compassion or
insensitivity. But, as author Charles Stanley said, the prophet is interested in the origin and the destination
– not the trip. He sees the problem and he knows the solution and he wants to help others get from where
they are to where God wants them to be.

Another aspect which can cause discomfort over the prophet’s message is that the sword of truth is sharp
– cutting to the core of one’s conscience. People generally don’t like correction or dealing with issues of
the heart.

And that is me. In a nutshell. If you boiled away everything else about me, got rid of all the artistic stuff and got down to who I really am…you’ll find someone who loves the truth and God is truth.

But God is Love.

 

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And therein lies my perpetual dilemma.  Will my heart forever be hard and empty towards those who cannot live in truth?  Is it really possible for me to make  phone calls to these toxic people? Would it be possible for me to sit and listen to them lie and believe their own lies and expect me to believe those lies, too? I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do.

But God does expect me to love. And if I’m known by my love, and if I don’t really love everyone, then I don’t really have all that great of a witness, do I?

But I try. I really tried with all of the relationships that I’m talking about. I exerted so much effort and emotion and in my heart I know I did everything I could do. And they still lied and in each of their own ways, struck out at me, kicked me while I was down, and most of them did it more than once.

So I did that whole dusting-the-sand-off-my-sandals thing and moved on.

So which is it then?

Do I move on because a prophet isn’t accepted in his hometown or do I reach out to them and love them?  Because I don’t know if it can be both ways and I don’t know the right answer.

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7 Comments

  1. I struggle with these issues too, not a surprise as you and I seem to have parallel paths on many topics. I believe in reaching out in love (and truth) to those around us but sometimes we have to love ourselves enough not to put ourselves in positions to be utterly damaged.

    Perhaps it is a cop out on my part, but there are situations and people that I have consciously surrendered to God. Yes, they are to be loved. I am not allowed to hurt, belittle or demean them but some of the people in my life are mired in their lies and want to stay there. To reach in and try to “save” them causes emotional and abusive backlash on me. For all in this category in my life, I make true, sincere efforts to love and speak truth to them. When that is rejected time and again, that is when I give them over to God.

    I acknowledge fully that they deserve all the love and grace in the heaven and earth, and I ask God to provide that for them. I give up. I surrender. I stop trying to control the situation or save the soul and I give it back to God. There are some I openly and honestly admit in my prayers to God, “Please Lord, love them because I where I am right now, I cannot love them.” God saves. We don’t. Sometimes I have to admit my weakness and give it back to the Creator. Now if then, at some point in the future, our paths cross, communications are re-opened, or I truly hear the Spirit calling and convicting my Spirit, then I act, obediently and reach out and love.

    In the meantime, my God, the God of infinite possibilities has a much better viewpoint to know when and where to affect their lives. I do my darnedest in interactions with those people of my life to be a kind and loving example of God’s love and to many, that leaves me looking, in their eyes, like some religious fanatic or lunatic. I am hoping that God knows my limitations and realizes that in some situations I can love some of these people better by NOT engaging with them. In doing so, I avoid doing things or saying things that are not in line with my Christian walk. Yes, I have buttons and they can be pushed. I do NOT always say the right things. So removing myself from a situation can often prevent a confrontation that I later might regret or for which I might have to write an apology letter .

    Not sure if this is right or wrong but it is how I approach it, so as not to drive myself utterly insane…or perhaps more accurately, to not drive myself more insane than I already am. Thank Goodness God loves me… and you…and THEM!!!
    ~Cindy Loo Who

    • THIS!!!!!!! “I am hoping that God knows my limitations and realizes that in some situations I can love some of these people better by NOT engaging with them. ”

      This is what I was trying to say and you said it for me!! You’re like my brain twin!!

  2. I ove Brennan. But as much as we love and respect him, it doesn’t mean we have to do everything he says. Or that everything he says is right for everyone.

    I think you are pretty in touch with who you are. And I think love doesn’t look the same from every person.

  3. Totally agree with Cindy & Kay. Such an issue is between you and the Lord, not an author who doesn’t know you nor your life. Truly, there are times that NOT having a relationship is the better thing. If your heart is to grow in love towards all people, take that to the Lord (not that I think you don’t) and trust Him to do that work in your life. Trust Him to show you when and where. He is faithful. He sees that desire, knows that it aligns with His character, and He’ll provide opportunities for you to grow. But it’s not something that you can force – it’s a work of the Spirit in your heart. In fact, it sounds like the Holy Spirit has already started that work in giving you that desire.

    Remember, too, that we are to flee from sin and evil and the enemy. If you’re engaging with these people, are you putting yourself in a position to sin? While it isn’t about relationships, I have a funny story for you.

    There’s an intersection in town where there are two left turn lanes and as soon as you come around the corner, the right line can either go straight or veer to the right to head to or over the interstate. The left lane is only supposed to go straight. People come through the intersection in the left lane, but then shove their way into the right lane so they can make that turn. I used to have to go through there to come home on a daily basis. It always made me crazy angry that people were such jerks. I’d be in the right lane (where I belonged) and if someone tried to weasel over in front of me, I would do my best to keep them out (I know – totally Christ-like, right?!?) in order to teach them a lesson for being so rude and stupid. It stressed me out something fierce. I even prayed that God would help me remain calm before I got to the intersection. It didn’t change matters.

    So I finally realized that for me personally, I had to FLEE THAT SIN. Therefore, I drove out of my way a few blocks, so that I no longer had to approach that intersection from that direction. That was the ONLY way that I could make it through there and not sin.

    Sometimes, God will change you and sometimes you have to choose a different action. Sometimes both.

    Just know that He is faithful to complete the work He’s begun in you. :-)

    • Oh Dianne. You are a wise…WISE woman. How I love you for that story!! I get it. You spoke in a metaphor that I won’t ever forget (and I mean that. that was powerful to me)

      • So glad that God gave me that to share with you. It just blesses my socks off when He chooses to use an imperfect me. ;-)

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