Good LOVE-er Gone Bad

September 26, 2010 at 6:17 pm (More than Mediocre) (, , , , , , )

If you read my last post you shouldn’t be at all surprised to find that I’m still stuck on the book of 1 John.  (And I probably will be tomorrow and a week from now and ten years from now until I KNOW that I’ve mastered it!)  If you’ve followed this blog from the beginning, then you know that I’m a rule follower.  Just tell me the right thing to do so I can do it, PLEASE! 

1 John does exactly that for me.  When I read it, I see arrows pointing to a huge sign with blinking lights that says, “So you want to follow Christ?  This is what a Christian looks like.   Do YOU look like this?”  Well, the problem is…I DON’T.  Not yet anyway.  Because 1 John isn’t just about choosing not to sin.  It also focuses on LOVING OTHERS. 

 Today I’ve decided to let you in on a dirty little secret of mine.  I’m a good LOVE-er gone bad.  Yep, you heard me right.  Now, before you start to defend me, I’ll tell you that I’ve already been there and had that argument with the LORD…and I lost!  So don’t bother.  But don’t worry, I’m working on it and hopefully I’ll cross back over soon.

There’s probably a hundred things that I can blame it on…a broken heart, trust issues, an introverted personality, a short temper….the list goes on.  But before a Holy God, no excuse stands.  So, I’ve had no other choice than to go ahead and face the ugly truth. 

 And it is UGGGG-LY!  

  I used not to have a problem loving others because I surrounded myself with only those that were lovable.  Whenever I came into contact with a “sand paper” person that rubbed me the wrong way or grated on my nerves, I’d think,   “I don’t have to put up with that.”  And I didn’t put up with it!  I closed them out of my life and went on my merry way.

About five years and three children into mothering, things weren’t very merry anymore.  To my dismay, two of my three precious children  had become “sand paper” people themselves.  The really, really coarse kind!  Only a mom can understand this next statement, so the rest of you…just ignore it! 

I loved them, but I was really beginning to not like them! 

 Though I truly loved them…deeply…with every ounce of my being- I was finding it extremely difficult to express any love to them at all because I just wasn’t “feeling” it.  They were taking up too much of my time, my energy, my space, my peace, my sleep, even my food!  MY EVERYTHING!  On top of that, they were so, so, SO very difficult to manage!  I found their behavior to be absolutely “un-lovable” and I honestly didn’t want to be around them.   I was frazzled, frustrated, and exhausted day in and day out and I just didn’t want to put up with it.  It was too hard.  So, I began to close them out and focus on ME.  How did I feel?  What was I going to do today?  What did I want in life?  What were they keeping me from?   How could I get more time to myself?  (Hey, I warned you that it was pretty ugly!)

I’m ashamed to say that this went on for a number of years.  My actions continued to spiral downward until I didn’t recognize myself anymore -for I was exactly the opposite of loving.  Who was this selfish, unloving person that I had become?   I’ll spare you the details, but I will tell you that I hit rock bottom.  I realized that the quality of my parenting could not get any lower.  I knew I had a real problem that needed a very real solution-right away before I did any more damage to my children or anyone else!  I needed to stop the pity party, choose to put others above myself, and learn how to truly LOVE because real love does not close people out.  It does not give up on them.  Genuine love is patient and kind.  It is never  jealous, boastful, proud, rude, selfish, or easily angered.  It does not act unbecomingly.  It does not insist on its own rights or its own way for it is not self-seeking.  It is not resentful and it does not pay attention to wrongs that have been done.  Love is always ready to believe the best of every person and it endures everything without weakening.    Love always trusts.  Always hopes.  Love never fails.

In 1 John 4:7-8 the Bible tells us that we are to love one another  because love is from God and everyone who loves has God as his Father and knows Him.  Those who do not love do not know God because GOD IS LOVE. 

That verse alone creates a  problem for those who aren’t actively choosing to love others but want to be in a healthy relationship with God.

As for me, I did the only thing I knew to do.   I went straight to the most loving person I know, our pastor’s wife.  She and I went to the Lord together and asked that He place His love in my heart. 

How do I know it’s there?  Because I’m having little tiny “love victories”  one “sand paper” person’s action at a time. 

Do I still fail?  Absolutely.  In fact, my kids told me the other day that they didn’t think the prayer worked!  But when I fail, I get right back up and try again.  Because that’s what love is all about.

How about you?  Is there a “sand paper” person in your life?  Are you a good LOVE-er?

 Let us love not with words and talk, but with actions and in reality!

~1 John 3:18

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