Christianity is Learning to Love

“Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” Matthew 22:34 NIV

“When people hurt us, it helps us to learn how to let go of wanting them to love us. It helps us to learn how to love purely.”
― Donna Goddard, Love’s Longing

The problem is failure, loss, shame, trauma and all sorts of painful experiences stop us. Who would love with all that? No one. Have you filled the void with stuff, drugs, food?  In Matthew, Jesus was filled with compassion because the crowed was harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd.  That’s us, isn’t it?

Our Father knows our stories. Love demands courage and vulnerability. The cross proves this. The Prodigal Son story proves this. The transformation of Paul from a murderer to writing the most famous love chapter in the Bible. The rescue of a thief on a cross. A prostitute.  The Book of Ruth. The Bible is full of love stories. Our story is a love story too.

We start with our Father. If we make a small attempt to know him, he rushes in to save. He rushes in to love. Love is always action. There may be good feelings right away or they may catch up to us after some time. We love because he first loved us. Our spiritual journey brings love lessons, wrestling matches and healing but all is to be loved and then to love others. It’s the whole point.

If we don’t learn to love ourselves and others, how will we act with others in heaven?

Musings

Is love knowledge? Is it faith that moves mountains? Is it giving everything to charity? It’s action for sure, but motives? Is it because I love the Father or I want to look good? Sometimes it’s people-pleasing?

We learn to love. Sometimes passionately and sometimes with hurt or numb feelings. But love we must.

One thing is sure: All things will pass away except love.

Prayer

Dear Father,

Thank you that you made us and thank you for your love. It’s so difficult, it seems, to love when the world is a mess, personal problems paralyze and health is fading but we know it’s the foremost commandment. Being a Sunshine Christian is easy. Following your son is difficult. Keep loving us so we may bring more to you and watch love multiply. Love is what we will be doing forever.

Amen.

Published by Barbara Hinther

Barbara Hinther author of Meditations and Encouragement for the Caregiver of a Loved One with Dementia and What About Me, God. Time to share what she has learned and hopefully, others will know they are not alone. This too, shall pass with beautiful, yet painful, lessons. Barbara lives in a rural town in Idaho where all is community. Bless everyone in the community for their support and their never-ending let’s pitch in attitude! She worked in marketing for over 30 years and volunteered with the Idaho Youth Ranch and St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store. Then her hardest job ever was caring for her husband who died from Lewy body dementia and needed her full-time care. Feelings of abandonment were constant. Life was very difficult for a while, but love, faith and hope will overcome. Let the adventure continue!

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