Sometimes we’re looking for something we can gain from people when it’s only something we can gain from God. We often go from place to place looking for love when we are made to become love and plug in, and then give what God created us to be back to the Body.
We’re not supposed to go from church to church or even group to group (in social media) to find out if they love us. If we do, what we’re doing is traveling from place to place, finding fault, finding what’s wrong here, and finding what’s wrong there. If we have a problem with this person, that person or even those people – the problem is us! (Paraphrase ~ Todd White)
To make this personal, if I have a problem with 10 to 20 people, it’s not them….it’s me.
Instead of looking FOR love, I need to BECOME love and plug that love back into the Body of Christ and pour it all over everyone else I encounter too. I need to invest love.
And if, like many of us here, we find our church in a social media setting, this going from church to church issue still applies; it simply manifests differently. It’s easier than a physical church really, we simply unfriend or block the difficult person and before you know it, we have only easy to love people all around us. And it seemingly costs us nothing.
Truth be told, these things cost us more than we realize. Opportunities pass and they do not return.
Sticking around and doing life with a group of people is one of the most fulfilling and satisfying things there is. Here are people to love us when we are feeling low and people to pray for us when we are in need and even people to simply to hang out with that we feel comfortable with. But then, sometimes there are others in this group that are wounded and hurt and it shows up in their actions and reactions to other people in the group. Right here is where the rubber hits the road really. Do we stick around and increase relationships with everyone, even those who offend us or do we take our love and leave?
If we want a community, a real community where they’re people we want to be around and do life with, we will have to be willing to pay a price. Most of the time, that price is us. At some point, it will cost us everything. I’m not saying it’s not worth it, NO, what I’m saying is it’s worth everything we are or ever will be. It’s worth dying for.
If we are guilty of this and I have been if I’m honest with myself, (especially in the early years) we will confess that the problem is us and work toward changing that.
I sometimes think we assume that if we are in God’s will and are walking with the people He wants us to then everything will be easy and smooth, but that can’t be further from the truth. Jesus never said that. What He did say was that My yoke (burden) was light and that means bearable, not easy. Just like I need mercy and grace extended toward me, sometimes daily, those I am in community with also need it. What we’ve been given needs to be poured out, not held back.
I’ve been pondering on these things lately and I’ve decided that I cannot afford to only have relationship with those who are exactly like me, who think like me, who believe like me or who talks like me. Where is the grace in that? LOVE develops in hardship. Love is what we become as we do life together with people who are gathered in unity and yet, are as different from one another as night is from day. Love is developed when we stand with each other, despite not necessarily agreeing with everything they do or think. Love is developed when we remain with people who aren’t always easy to love, but we love them anyway, right in the middle of their mess.
In the upper room while waiting for Holy Spirit to come, the disciples and the others were in unity. The scriptures don’t say anything about them being in total agreement with one another. No, it says they were in unity. Unity and agreement are not the same. The disciples were all different and often disagreed about how to approach ministry and many other things. And yet they were one when Holy Spirit descended upon them.
Are we any different? No, we are not.
God has what we need. We find it by sticking around and not leaving when things get tough. We find it by bearing all things with one another because He lives in us and that Fruit is there because we need it. Let’s give love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control a chance to flourish in our lives.
Become love and plug in. Stick around and see what will happen! Amazing things are on the horizon.