In summer, I shared with you all that I was really enjoying this book.
And…I’m still enjoying that book. (I’m kind of a slow reader these days!)
But really, regardless of the speed at which I’m enjoying it, it’s a good book! Some of the ideas in it do seem almost…simplistic, though. I mean, we all know that we’re supposed to be kind and loving, and do we seriously need yet another book telling us that?
I do! For whatever reason, it’s just really hitting the spot right now. I do need to read about love all over again, because somewhere along the way, I’ve gotten off track…
I’ve slipped into making people my project.
You know how sometimes as good Christians, witnessing to us can mean going out and trying to get everybody else to become Christians? It’s like this goal set before us. And obviously, we are meant to be a witness, but the whole thing can get messed up when we try to be the ones changing people, instead of leaving that up to the Holy Spirit.
I get like that sometimes. I get all focused on that goal of trying to change people, and trying to lead them closer to Christ…and I kind of forget about the love part.
I realized a lot of things the other day as I was having lunch with someone that I used to think I really loved.
But as we talked, it became clear to me that I haven’t really loved her in the truest sense of the word….I’ve seen her as someone who needs to be changed. We don’t agree on everything, and rather than just simply loving her, and enjoying the differences between us, I’ve judged her and thought of all the ways in which she needs to be changed.
But the other day, as I listened to things she said, I found myself just enjoying her. I found our differences inspiring and challenging, and I was able to enjoy finding out about who she is, without having the desire to change her…so that she’s more like me.
Maybe I’m the one who needs to change. It seems as though I have a lot to learn in the area of just accepting people and loving them exactly the way they are, without an agenda.
I’ve been thinking about these verses a lot:
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)
By this all men will know? Just by the amount of love I show?? I’ve got a lot more loving to do.
And it can be so hard! I really like thinking about my own comforts and interests more than other people’s. And besides my issue with making people my projects, I struggle with being outgoing in large groups of people. I also happen to have a really large personal space bubble – I’m not really the hands-on type of person who hugs everyone I meet. I could add a number of other challenges to this list…
Do those things exempt me??
Nope! I think there’s a balance – I don’t need to strain myself to become an incredibly bubbly, outgoing person who constantly hugs everyone in sight, but I do think I need to force myself out of my comfort zone to express love, even in ways that don’t necessarily come naturally to me.
Hmm, this could take some time to get good at! Fortunately I still have half the book to read. And the Bible seems to have a lot to say on the topic, as well…
And maybe I’ll keep having as much fun as I did at lunch the other day, and it won’t be as hard as I think!