Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Are You a Dog Lover? (Day THIRTEEN-30 Day Challenge)

Last night I was talking with some women from my church at our weekly 'Girls Night Out' meeting. The topic...To love or not to love. You would think that the topic would get old. You would think that eventually we would run out of things to learn about love. Nope...we always need to grow in our ability to love withOUT condition. 

Think back to when you were a child...or think of young children you know. For children, love comes very naturally and easily. I love to watch kids on a playground.  
They meet, they play, they enter into friendship. Having the right clothes or brand of shoes doesn't matter in the least. Their parents social status makes no difference. They see, they speak, they love. It is not only faith I learn from my children. It is joy in all circumstance. It is peace after prayer. It is love without condition. At what point did we decide that love was our option instead of God's clear command?

In our discussion last night we started by talking about how love does not judge. Conquering a judgmental heart/spirit is difficult when you don't recognize it. But what if you do see it? What if you've realized your tendency to judge others only on what appears to be truth...and you do nothing to change? "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1 

I realize I quoted that verse already during this 30 day challenge. Get over it. Lol! ;-) I'm about to quote the rest of the 'love chapter'...so go ahead and prepare yourself. I am going to quote it in the NCV so that the wording is just a little bit different than what you probably have memorized. I want you to read it like it is fresh and new. Skimming over words of life and truth is easily done, but I'm praying that you don't skim or skip. I'm praying that you read them slowly and carefully...allowing fresh revelation to sink in. God has something to teach you today...or He would not have brought you here. :-)

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love is not happy with evil but is happy with the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always remains strong. Love never ends." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

How many of the things that are listed in those verses as the 'NOT to do's'...describe you even 1% of the time? How many of the attributes of love that we ARE to do, describe you 100% of the time? Love is hard sometimes. I don't pretend to be excellent at it. I'm still learning how to love...daily! It is always a test...because love is vital to showing Christ's heart to people. How do we learn? We can fake it...but how do we really learn to love?

Being intentional is a great place to start. Love doesn't always come naturally...which means absolutely NOTHING. NOT A THING! We can't trust our natural...because we are born sinful and broken. We must become like Christ. We must strive for His character. We can not be content with our sin...we must be disgusted by it. Fleeing from it as soon as we realize it is there.

How else can we learn to love? As one of the ladies said last night...we could take our cues from a dog. Yes...I meant to say what you read. A dog. Dogs are instinctively filled with love. They long to see us. They love to be around their family. They love new company. They don't care how long you are gone...they are ready, wagging, and awaiting your return. They make it clear when they want your attention...and are soooo beyond excited when you respond to their request. They are up for anything. You lead...they follow. They don't care who you are or what you've done...they can learn to love anyone if given an opportunity.

How do you compare? It's a bit sad isn't it? Sometimes I don't love to be around people that make me uncomfortable for one reason or another. Some days I don't want company showing up. I'm not always awaiting the return of people I deem difficult to love. When someone wants attention I don't always want to comply. In fact, I judge them sometimes as needy or *gasp* high maintenance. I'm not always excited to give of myself to someone in need. I don't always show love to people in the ways I've come to know they desire. And I don't show love to everyone I'm given the opportunity to.

Ouch! I just realized that my dog is smarter than I. That stings...but i clearly needed a reminder. I do not have love all figured out...so I must strive to be more like my diaper eating, trash sniffing, chicken chasing mutt. Lol! 

I am sooo going to try it this weekend. I'm going out of town with some ladies from my church and I'm going to try to love them like a dog. Joy in just being together...yep. Passion to learn and grow with them...you betcha. Take them for walks...very probable. Always ready and up for the challenge to love in ways that they crave...that's what I'm praying!

Need lessons? I have a friend who has some puppies they need to get rid of! ;-) 
Show love intentionally today. Let me know how people respond!

1 comment:

  1. A great reminder about love. I have always been intrigued by the scripture that says, "Love covers over a multitude of sins.." Sometimes it seems when I am ready to confront someone about all the offenses they have done and hash it all--the Lord prompts me just "to love" and to overlook the flaws, acting like they didn't happen. [Although there is a time for honest communication--that needs to be done in love as well!] I too still have MUCH to learn in this area. May we truly love one another as God loves us! (1 John even says this is how we are know we are His--by the way we love one another!)