How Well Do We (or I) Really Love

Posted on 23. Jul, 2010 by in Uncategorized

Love seems to be a common theme in my life lately.  I have read multiple blog posts regarding the love of each member of the body for the other.  Anthony at The Normal Christian discussed this (in the post “Smell Ya Later”).  Norma at My Church Journey has chronicled how the Lord lead her into a very “unconventional” fellowship, with brothers and sisters on the street.

Now, I would like to think that my heart overflows with love for all my brothers and sisters.  Truth is, my heart yearns for true communion of the body, as described in the NT, and yearns for God’s people to emulate the humility and love of Christ.  The other truth is that, when the rubber meets the road, I don’t very closely emulate the love and humility of Christ.  I am working in the ER as I write this, and the ER has been a good “proving ground” for me, meaning the Lord has used my time in the ER in the last 2 plus years to grow me in many ways.  Lately he has used it, among other things, to enlarge my heart towards those that I don’t traditionally have a lot of love or patience for.   I find that my love lacks when the person I am dealing with is a drug seeker, or if I am tired, or if I am impatient, or for whatever reason.  I have really been challenged lately to let the love of Christ come forth through me.  it is a decision after all.  I get to WALK (a specific action, initiated by me) in love, towards ALL PEOPLE!!!  My tendency sometimes is to want to walk in love towards believers, and maybe  not so much towards the really, really lost among us.  There obviously is no example of this in scripture, and many instructions against this.  I also have the tendency to think more highly of myself than I ought, forgetting Ephesians 2, which reminds us that we were all at one time dead in our sins, and “there but by the grace of God go I”.

So, I am learning to love.  For real.  Learning to come outside of myself, outside of my comfort zone, and allow Christ to more fully live through me, as that is what He desires to do in the first place.  “I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in  me.  And the life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”

Father, continue to enlarge my heart.  Give me your love, your compassion and your patience.

Thanks for bearing with my rambling!

5 Responses to “How Well Do We (or I) Really Love”

  1. Dan Allen 23 July 2010 at 9:06 am #

    Mark,

    great post!

    I know that as I seek to have more community among the church I am constantly thinking: would this person be good? that person seems cool maybe I should talk to him, that person seems odd, I don’t think I would want to share my life with him!

    The funny thing is that I tend to like non-believers more than most Christians! It is the regular church attending people I struggle to love, my assumption is that they are fake and self-righteous (hey look in the mirror Dan!).

    See all the love there? It’s awful and I have been very convicted about it lately and your post was very encouraging, explaining why those kinds of selfish thoughts are so opposed to Scripture and God’s love for us!

    Thanks for sharing!

    -Dan

    • Mark 23 July 2010 at 7:16 pm #

      I totally agree about “church people” vs. the world. There was even a time where I purposefully allowed sin in my life (in the form of a frequent curse word, a negative attitude here or there, etc.) in an attempt to NOT appear to be what I so often saw in church (syrupy sweet religious on Sunday, son of Satan the rest of the week). I wouldn’t have seen it as purposeful sin at that time, but as I write this comment it becomes clear to me that that’s what it was. I said back then that I trusted someone who would cuss once in awhile more than the “goody two-shoes”! I think the reasoning behind this is not entirely faulty, just maybe misguided. Brothers and sisters that are stuck in “church” are stuck operating their lives in the world’s system, only they think it is of God! The spiritual pride that can come with this can be troublesome, and can result in unintentional hypocritical behavior. Ironically, in my quest to find truth in community, I have found myself getting prideful about where I am, compared to my ‘poor institutionalized brethren’! Mercy! As if I had anything to do with getting where I am now, and as if where I am is anything special in the grand scope of His kingdom anyway! I think there is a good middle ground, where we can see the church system for what it is, and love those individuals anyway, without getting pulled back in. I do think that fellowship like we have is difficult with a lot of these, because they just don’t understand where we are, they can’t relate, and many have difficulty accepting our failure to attend a building. The “church” is a mission field all unto itself.

      I appreciate your comment, and you made me laugh (“See all the love there?”) I again marvel at the sense of kinship in this forum, and hope the day will come when some of us can get together in person to worship our savior!

      God bless, brother!

  2. Dan Allen 27 July 2010 at 7:40 am #

    I think the problem that I have is that I don’t see the “church” as a mission field as you put it. I think “these people know better and are just settling,” but in reality the “church” system is just like anything else we try to fin peace in: it tries to replace our dependency on God and ultimately fails. In “church” we try to find peace in religious observation much like a smoker tries to find peace in cigarettes and a drinker tries to find peace in the bottle. It really is all the same. The difference is that drinking and smoking are not pretentious, but that does not make them “better” substitutes for a real relationship with God. The “church” system seeks peace in being religious, since we can’t really be righteous and religious, pretension is the inevitable result of this pursuit.

    This is quite a ramble, but I appreciate your comment and it has really helped me think through a lot of this stuff!

    -Dan

    • Mark 27 July 2010 at 5:19 pm #

      Dan,

      I appreciate your comments. The reason I see the “church” as a mission field is that there are good, sincere Christians who seriously seek after God, but only know how to do that within the confines of the institution. They have been taught from day one that this is what God expects, and they are discouraged from questioning that. I can speak for myself, and how I bought into the system hook, line and sinker, so to speak. I was zealous for God, and therefore I was zealous for “church”, because that’s all I knew. If not for the gradual extrication provided by the Lord through a good friend I would probably never have seen the light. It is these sincere brothers and sisters that I desire to reach, who need the truth of the gospel explained to them. I think for me it was such a violent shift in paradigms that it was difficult to understand or comprehend. It was enough of an earthquake that I even questioned the existence of God! I do agree with you that many, if not a majority, of those in the institution have no interest outside of it, and will never leave. These absolutely settle for an expression that “has a form of Godliness but denies the power thereof”. I like your comment that “pretension is the inevitable result of this pursuit”, and you are absolutely right.

      thanks for the conversation!

      Mark


Leave a Reply