Friday, February 19, 2016

STILL ON LOVE

One of the most important aspects of love is that it places certain responsibilities on us towards our object of love. I am sure we all know this truth. That is why we value (or do we?) our relationships with the people we love and cherish. 

One way by which this responsibility manifests is that it helps us to draw rein on our emotions and any agitation of our feelings. I like the way 2 Cor. 5:14a puts it: "For the love of Christ constrains us..." In this verse, I can almost hear the screeching sound of the wheels of charging emotions, halted by the timely advent of the all-conquering love of God! The love of God constrains us! 
The Message Bible renders this verse thus: ..." For the love of Christ CONTROLS us..." (Emphasis mine).

Inherently, close relationships like marriage have the potential of turning sour because couples relate intimately and witness first-hand the weaknesses and shortcomings of their partners. Soon they begin to take each other for granted and refrain from taking conscious steps to cherish and validate their partners. At this point, errors are magnified and flipping the lid in anger becomes the norm rather than the exception. A free fall of emotions charging out of control!

And for a lot of couples, this happens almost on a daily basis. All the time. 
See, it's easy to justify this kind of behaviour like most people do. But this is no way to live! 
Nobody benefits anything meaningful in the long run acting this way. 
Temporary respite, yes. 
Feeling in control, yes.

But truth be told, vilifying others especially as a 'normal' way of relating not only displeases God, it also calls to question our claim of being in love, first with God and then with our fellow human beings at all levels. The Love of God inside us controls us. It helps us to respond with grace when we are hurt. The love of God compels us to seek constructive ways of peacefully resolving issues so that our relationships get better by the day.

Because we love God and are operating in His love towards others, that love restrains us from acting in ways contrary to God's ways no matter what.
So God's love motivates us to seek peace and pursue it; refuse to indulge our negative impulses but rather take steps that will deescalate impending crises. God's love helps us pray for those who hurt us and wait on God for the best way to respond to challenges that come our way.
Here's a challenge to us all to give God's love a chance to help us build sturdy bridges across troubled waters in all of our relationships.

When we are offended like we will surely be, rather than responding in kind, let us consciously stir up the love of God on our inside, and allow it to steer us in the right path of productive resolution of the issue at hand. If love is not in control of our emotions and actions,
then anger is! 
Pride is! 
Self is! 
And how far can you go with that before you self-destruct somehow?

How true!

Remember, according to Proverbs 10:12, love covers all sins.
Shalom.


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