Love One Another: Part 1b

* He reproved them for what was amiss.

This is one of the things on the list of how Jesus loved. I stumble at it.

Here it is put another way.

A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.
Arnold H. Glasow

 

The fact is, I probably don’t get in people’s way enough. Now, I’m not talking about moaning and complaining here, or being mad at people and telling them how terrible they are. I’m talking about the love that it takes to go to your friend and tell him that what he’s doing isn’t right, and show him why in the Word of God.

For instance, if I know someone is harboring unforgiveness against someone else, love requires…or at least strongly suggests…that I at least try to help him get past the unforgiveness. Why? Because unforgiveness doesn’t damage the person you’re angry with; it damages you–and can do SERIOUS damage to your spiritual walk as well as your relationships with more than the one person.

But I have a problem with this type of “getting in the way:” I hate confrontation. I mean I HATE confrontation. David I am not; for all that I might have felt the same things, I’d not have wanted to confront the giant. I only want to go to people with good words, smiles, and hugs. The thing is…love sometimes requires more. Love often requires more. I’ve learned to receive this type of love – even if I don’t usually appreciate it in the moment – but I have yet to learn to consistently give it in the same way.

So how many times have I failed my friends by not helping them see their own weaknesses so they can work through them? God knows I appreciate it when my friends help me; why am I so weak that I don’t often have the courage to help them in like manner?

Confrontation as a part of love. As a parent, I know it’s true. As a sister in Christ… I’m learning.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Love One Another: Part 1

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:35 NIV

There is an expression: Charity begins at home. Obviously, Jesus believed this. These were some of the last words He spoke to His disciples–after Judas left the room–so we know it is a vitally important lesson He wanted them to learn, a command He expected them to obey.

I’ve never really used commentaries before, but I went to Matthew Henry’s Commentary this time and found he had much to say about this passage. One point he made was this: Since Jesus had told them that they were to love as He had loved them, we need to know how He loved them. Matthew Henry provides a list. Since I am “you,” the one He expects to show love for my brothers and sisters in Him, I read this as a checklist.

* He spoke kindly to them.
* He concerned Himself heartily for them, and for their welfare.
* He instructed them.
* He counseled them.
* He comforted them.
* He prayed with them and for them.
* He vindicated them when they were accused.
* He took their part when they were run down.
* He publicly owned them to be dearer to Him than His mother, or sister, or brother.
* He reproved them for what was amiss.
* He compassionately bore with their failings.
* He excused them.
* He made the best of them.
* He passed by many an oversight.
* He washed their feet.
* He lay down His life for them.

If this were a test, would I pass?

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

The Journey Begins

At God’s prompting-okay, command-I have begun what may well be a year-long study on Love.

What a topic, right? I have a feeling most of us like to think we understand love, but deep inside know that this one word is too big for us. There is the fact that God is Love, which is immense. Then there is Jesus’ love, which Ephesians 3:19 tells us is “beyond all knowing.” (CJB)–though the author’s prayer is that we know it.

That passage is actually where I began my study. It leapt out at me as I was finishing my most recent read-through of the Bible. This is from the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB), Ephesians 3:17b-19.

Also I pray that you will be rooted and founded in love,
so that you, with all God’s people, will be given strength
to grasp the breadth, length, height and depth of the Messiah’s love,
yes, to know it, even though it is beyond all knowing,
so that you will be filled with all the fullness of God.

So there it is. My goal is to see this prayer answered in me, to be rooted and founded in love, to know His love so that I can be filled with all the fullness of God.

It is going to be a journey, and I invite you to come along.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C