The Missing Link

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Faith without love is worthless.  That’s right, completely worthless.

Is love the missing link in your life?

Love is required of us all.  We are not only called to love our friends, but we are also called to love our enemies and those who have hurt us.  That isn’t an easy task is it?  Love is something that we have to work at everyday.  One thing that helps bring me closer to loving my enemies is seeing them the way God sees them.  Those who have hurt me are loved by God, deeply and unconditionally loved.  My job isn’t to bring judgement to their doors or harbor resentment against them.  My job is to love them.

But…

No, there are no buts.  Impossible you say?  You have no idea what they have done to me you say?

Loving them doesn’t mean that you condone what they did or said to you.  Loving them doesn’t make it okay.  Trying to love them on your own will be impossible because it isn’t in our nature to love our enemies.  We need God’s help for this one.

I have enemies.  There are people out there who hate me and who have hurt me.  When I think about those specific people, it’s difficult for me to get rid of my hate, jealousy, pride, and bitterness.  But God calls me to love them; so love them I must.  Love doesn’t mean that I have to become their best friend, but it does require forgiveness and grace.

Whenever these people enter my mind, I have made it a habit to pray for them.  Can I tell you how incredibly difficult and life-changing that is?  It’s impossible to hold on to bitterness while you pray.  Slowly but surely it’s becoming easier for me to love my enemies.

My father always told me, “There are two types of people you’ll find in a nursing home.  Those who are happy have learned to let go and love.  And then there are the bitter and angry who never learned to let things go, and who never learned to love. ”  I have seen both types of people in my life.  I have seen what grudges can do to those who hold onto them.  And I have seen what love can do to those who serve it freely.

Do you want to love?  Do you want love to overflow in your life?  Can you imagine what would happen to your faith if you let love make your decisions?  What would happen if you let love speak for you?

I believe that love is missing in our faith in this day and age.  Love is the only thing that can break the hardest of hearts.  Love is our best witness.  How can we as people of faith preach the gospel of Jesus Christ without living, promoting, and sharing God’s love to all people?

That’s our missing link.  That’s why hearts are remaining hard.  We are full of faith, but are lacking in love.

So let’s start to fight the hate and bitterness with love.  Let’s grow in faith, but more importantly let’s grow in love.  I promise you, the world is going to notice.

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 

 

 

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Carissa says:

    Great post! This reminds me a lot of the message we heard in church yesterday: love God and love others. It all really boils down to that. We complicate things and then forget the most important thing is love.

    1. Janell says:

      We complicate everything don’t we? God wants us to have the faith and heart of a child, and I think it’s because their minds are so free of complications.

  2. This is so true. And I so appreciate it. Sometimes it is hard to keep loving those who hurt us. I know it can be hard for me to quiet the rant in my brain that I want to send their way and instead think on them with love and pray for them. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Janell says:

      You’re welcome! I really was writing this for myself because I needed to hear it too 🙂

      1. I do that all the time when I blog! I think my best posts I’m talking to myself more than anyone else!

  3. Dara says:

    Thanks for this post, Janell!

    I enjoyed reading this, and I am looking forward to visiting again and reading more! I hope you’ll visit my blog too!

  4. Janell, I read this post a few days ago and had to leave the computer abruptly (*) before I could comment, but I wanted to return and tell you that I’ve been reflecting on your words — especially those regarding the two types of people in a nursing home. What good incentive to release bitterness now! Who needs it piling up in our lives, corroding our hearts?

    Thank you for this reminder!

    * Children can become unglued rather quickly. In the time it took to read this blog post, there was a small uprising staged by three girls in my kitchen. 😉

    1. Janell says:

      Corroding is the perfect word to describe what that bitterness does inside of us. It starts now and gets worse over the years if we don’t fight to stop it.
      And that is too funny about the girls in the kitchen! I can almost picture it 🙂 Oh the evil plans my sister and I hatched when mom wasn’t looking!

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