Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8
I have that line in a song and sometimes when I am not loving the way I should, which is most of the time, it sounds like a taunt. Like there should be a sing-song, “neener, neener, neener” behind it. For those of you unfamiliar with the term “neener” here is the Wikipedia answer:
- A childish taunt or jeer pronounced with a nasal sneer, for lack of a more intelligent retort to someone else’s jeer or taunt, usually from a peer. Sometimes sung to the tune of “Ring-Around-the-Rosey” for really driving the point home.
I have found that it is much easier to bask in the warmth of God’s love than actually go out there in the world and love His people. But that is what God says is the proof of our love for Him. How we love each other.
It’s much easier to sit on the sidelines and write about people than actually go out there and love them. It’s much for comfortable, especially for someone like me who is a bit on the reclusive side. However, it is not nearly as rewarding.
The truth is, sometimes I hide behind my writing, and if I had to be really honest? Far too often people irritate me.
Oh, I can do a pretty good job with the ones in my corner, the ones I choose to love. I lavish love and affection on those who love me, my friends……my family. But loving others just plain wears me out. I find loving on my animals is much easier. I give them a little food and affection and they are at the door to greet me when I come home.
I have heard it said, “The more I am around people, the better I like my (dog, cat….etc.) you get the point.
The more I am around people, the more I know I need work, and the more I am aware of how much grace God has extended to me.
If there is anything I want to be remembered for, it’s not now bright I was, or how rich, or how funny, or anything else, but for how I loved.
Sometimes I convince myself I am doing an okay job, but then I withhold my love in tame but mean little ways, by making assumptions about others, or putting them in a category by how they dress or what they drive.
And I wonder sometimes if how I am loving others is indicative of how I am loving myself.
Sometimes love means extending the same grace to others that we would want them to extend to us. I was reminded of this the other night on the way home. E and I were just about to turn onto the last stretch of road before home when a big red truck screamed by and pulled in front of us. Then he slowed down. Way down. When we tried to change lanes he changed too and blocked us in.
I said….”I can’t believe this. Here……now? Almost home after driving 5 hours?” We were just minding our own business driving down the road after all.
In a shiny new Black Camaro.
With grey racing stripes.
Of course, it was dark and the other driver couldn’t see us. I am sure they must have assumed that behind the wheel was a young guy looking for a race. Instead he got two fifty something women who only wanted to get home. I think that maybe he would have felt bad if he had seen us for who we were.
And he was wrong in his assumption that we wanted to race.
It made me wonder what would make someone do that. It also made me wonder about how many times I have misjudged people or situations.
As unbelievable as it is when you consider what evils people have done to each other all throughout history, the truth is this:
Every single person who has ever been born has the breath of the living God in their nostrils. That alone makes them worthy of love, impossible as it sometimes seems.
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end it is between you and God. It never was between you and them anyway.” Quote from Mother Theresa
She always humbles me. That is all I have for today.
2 thoughts on “When it’s easier to bask in God’s love than love others”
Lori…this has to be one of my favorite posts of yours. So beautiful, so convicting, I could see myself very clearly here, and am reminded yet again of how much work God still has to do in me. Thank you, my dear.
You know, I have struggled with this issue. I am not a natural “people person” and yet having to work closely with people everyday has really helped me grow in ways I never would have. God has used that to shape me, and yet I have so far to go also. He is so patient! Thank you dear, for your kind comments and forwards! Lori