Friday, October 21, 2011
All You Need is Love
1 Corinthians 16:14
Do everything in love.
What would this world be like if everyone, everywhere, did everything in love? If the Golden Rule, which appears in some form in the eight major world religions, was adhered to, how would our lives be transformed? If all people genuinely loved their neighbors as themselves, would we, at long last, see God's Kingdom here on earth?
If it were easy to do everything in love, we would have realized an idyllic existence thousands of years ago. Even those of us who love God and love ourselves don't always acknowledge or act upon the needs of our neighbors around us. Comfortable in our insular cocoons, we often fail to place ourselves in their shoes, thinking of how we would wish them to react were the tables turned.
How much more difficult is it, then, to love others for the persons who, through some tragedy, trauma, or abuse in their lives, are incapable of loving themselves? They long to love who they are, but their guilt, shame, and fear from memories of belittlement, bullying, or other maltreatment by those in whom they trusted still haunt them. There's a gaping wound where love for self should dwell. How is it possible for them to follow Jesus' commandment to love others as we love ourselves?
And, what about those who deny God's existence? Where are they? What gives meaning and purpose to their lives? What motivates them to love at all? These people, in the grand scheme of things, are the most to be pitied. Their deviance from the truth is reason to lament and begs for vigilant prayer.
Love of God, love of self, love for others - our earthly Holy Trinity keeps us balanced, grounded, as we move forward in this unpredictable, and often perilous, journey called life. Just as a three-legged stool will collapse when one support is removed, so will we when one integral part of love is absent. To do everything in love, all three must be in place.
And, no, it isn't easy . . .
Will you pray with me?
Dear Heavenly Father, we are far from perfect in our ability to give love where and when it is needed. We are broken and sinful, in need of your precious Son, Jesus, our Savior, to heal and forgive us, to teach us how to do all things in love. Fill us with your blessed Holy Spirit that we might shine your glorious love into all the world.
Psalms 31 or 35
1 Corinthians 16:10-24
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