Monday, September 6, 2010

A Life Filled With Love

Delight yourself in the LORD
       and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
       trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
       the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. – Psalms 37:4-6

Today’s Reading: Palms 37-39; Acts 26

Psalms 37:4 has always been one of my favorite scriptures. “He will give me the desires of my heart.”  Ooooo weee! That sounds fantastic. I’ll take that all day any day.

But I’m kinda salty that I was never hipped to the next verse: “commit your way to the LORD…”

Come on man… Why you gotta make it all hard?

Did anyone else read those laws? I can’t do all of that! Ok fine… so Jesus made it a bit simpler than that. We have to do two things, love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. But seriously… that second part is hard. There have been plenty of times where I didn’t want to do that.

Yesterday at church the pastor was talking about forgiveness and there was something that really stuck out at me. He asked something similar to the following: have you ever tried to love your neighbor by showing forgiveness and it just seemed like you were losing?

Yep. *raises hand*

I think the hardest thing about loving our neighbors is when they don’t love us back. It’s hard to give a gift that doesn’t seem deserved or even welcomed for that matter. I have been in this situation several times. I have worked at forgiving folk that not only didn’t ask for it, but never even apologized for the initial wrong doing. I’m sure you’re familiar with the good old “well I’m sorry if I did something that may have hurt you”.

What a second rate thing to say.

But it is in these moments that we learn a simple truth about life. None of us deserve anything. For every time that I have tried to forgive someone who didn’t seem to be worth it I’m sure there are five other times that someone has done the same for me. I’m sure there are plenty of times that someone extended love my way without me returning their gesture with gratitude.

Now, I know that we aren’t required to be perfect but it was a good reminder for me. The world has a funny way of revisiting our treatment of others upon us. When we bless others we are blessed. When we curse others we are cursed.

It’s very simple.

In this I see the truth of those two scriptures above. The fourth verse doesn’t exist without the fifth. We open the door for blessings in our lives when we bless those around us with the love that we have in our hearts. That’s just the way it goes. It’s not about what folks deserve; it is about what we are willing to give.

When we do our best to give and let live, life has a way of giving us back more than we ever would have imagined.

If you want to be blessed then bless those in your life. Whether they “deserve” it or not… This is the path to true prosperity. This is the path to a life filled with love. 

1 comment:

  1. Good reminder.

    For some time a person I care about greatly has been on a constant quest it seems to make me a liar. Relentlessly this person informs me that the answers I provide to their questions are not well "true." Nothing hurts more than to have someone you hope knows and believes the best of you, in reality doesn't.

    What to do? Love them anyway. Even if they feel I'm a liar. Even if they don't believe in me. Why? Because I sit on the side of truth without anything to hide regardless of my being treated as if I do.

    I am facing more and more loving and forgiving people in a manner I need and want to receive vs. what I feel they "deserve." When I take this action, I feel I am doing the right thing UNTIL I say, they aren't deserving. These aren't words God has ever uttered, "they aren't deserving." So as soon as I try to pat myself on the back for "taking the high road and being the better person", I quickly bring myself back to reality by allowing myself to realize, I'm not taking the high road but the road I've should be taking all the time.

    I haven't ever and will never achieve perfection. I thank God for that as I would be left without any room to error. And I do error. A lot. Again I thank God that when I do make these errors, there are those people who know my heart's intentions and choose to love me, forgive me, and show me "their" way, anyway.

    The beautiful thing about giving and sharing *light* with another, like sharing the stories of the bible, both people receive the benefit of "illumination."


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A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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