It’s been a while guys, hope you all didn’t forget about me.
Wouldn’t blame you if you did.
I’ve been very busy, but now I’m back for… The third? The third time (let’s just go with that.)
Things are going well though for the most part. God has blessed me with the dearest of friends. People who love me and accept for who I am, people who build me up and encourage me constantly. And I constantly hope and pray I do the same for them.
Lately I’ve been learning a lot about my place in how to love people. I love to love people, I’ve said this many times before I’m sure. But sometimes in my pride, I literally sometimes go to God and straight face say, “but I want to love them like this!”
That’s kinda horrifying in retrospect, saying no to God. Even with great intentions. Let’s line up what I basically have done by saying that,
1. I said no to God
2. I basically said, “I don’t have faith in how You want to love someone.”
3. Also saying, “I can do better.”
4. I SAID “NO” TO GOD!
But, I’m not getting into sin in this post. But, our role in loving people.
I meet a lot of hurt people, and having been a hurt person my first instinct is to love them and give them all that they need to pick themselves back up in God, find value in themselves by God, and go be what God wants them to be.
Isn’t that a crazy thought? God has given me the want and the honor to go to His people and use my good AND bad experiences for good and to lift and build His people up bringing glory to Him.
Paul talks about this in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.
That’s really cool stuff. But anyway, back to my point. God brings people into our lives constantly. Some build us up. Some are to test us. Some are here to teach us. Some are in our lives for mere moments. Some are in it for the long haul. And God gives us the opportunity to show His Love and Glory to His people in all of those situations.
But God really is a jealous God. He wants His people for Himself, and He wants to be the center of their lives. For good reason, all other things that aren’t Him, that are made the central foundation of lives (ie. money, pleasure, work, people, idols) eventually make those lives crumble and fall. I know this from experience.
I’ve recently came face to face with this situation. My spiritual brother and I were having a discussion about love and a situation I was recently in. And he pointed something out to me about loving people. About how humans love people and how God loves people.
He spoke about “need love” and “gift love”. This is something he learned while reading C.S Lewis’s “The Four Loves” which I need to grab a copy of soon. But anyway, basically, “need love” is the love that we as humans portray the most, the need and want of someone to basically love us and make us whole and complete. While “Gift love” is a love given freely without an expectation of return nor to see the fruit of the labor that the love was given for. Gift love is a love that God continuously gives, because He wants for nothing, we can give Him nothing to improve or help Him, for He is God. We look up to Him as His Children with “Need love” which is not bad, for is it bad for a child to love and have need of their father?
You can take that as a no
All that relates to the situation of mine with this. God gave me the honor to have grace to love and be there for one of His children. To share in the experience of their pain and growth as they began the path of recovery from an event in their life (vague sentence is vague, I know). I was allowed to share my own experiences in recovery from the same situation and it was amazing. Then there came a point, very visible and clear to me that I have done all that I needed to do. I have loved as I was called, I have been strong where I needed to be, and now was the time to let God take over and love them and be the center of their life. But, here comes the bad part, in my pride and selfishness, I wanted to mean more to them and love them in my own way. Even though my intentions were good and I wanted them to be happy. So even at the clear direction of God, I compromised and continued what I knew was not the right way to love this person whom God was trying to love.
What followed next was a stress and pain that I have not felt in a long time. I felt drained and constantly confused, because I was feeding into something in this person that I could never hope to satisfy. And even then, I continued! And for the folks that do not know me. I do NOT get stressed. Most things don’t stress me out. I’m pretty chill with most situations, but in this area where people are involved, I was maxed out in stress. But still, I continued. It finally took my body’s immune system shutting down from the stress, causing me to get sick (which doesn’t happen often either) and a very late night phone call from one of my closest and dearest best friends to make me fully realize where I had gone wrong.
I have been letting myself be drained of love and energy for the sake of someone’s happiness, even though I knew that the only person who could ever make them whole is God’s pure never ending love. And I was upset and confused, because I was loving someone, shouldn’t THAT be ENOUGH and cause joy to be returned upon me? No, not when the person you are loving is neck deep in need of a pure love and do not have any love to give back. And it was very selfish of me to think otherwise. Good intentions or not.
My friend pointed this out to me. And in her good faith in God and love for me, she restored me and set me straight back where I needed to be in this situation. She, in being there for me at such a late hour and truly caring for me, showed me what a real, true stable friendship was supposed to be like, which was the exact opposite of what I was trying to muster out of the friend who I was trying to care for. As she pointed out (as well as my spiritual brother has pointed out to me [that’s two Godly people telling me the same thing! For those keeping score]), being someone’s best friend isn’t suppose to be draining like this, it shouldn’t break you down and keep you up at night, it shouldn’t cause you so much stress that you end up becoming physically ill! They’re suppose to come alongside you, love you, and build you up naturally. And her actions perfectly portrayed that, and I am thankful that God has blessed me with a strong Christ following community who constantly love me and look out for me.
Now, let me take a moment and say something. For those of you thinking, “sheesh, this person Kris was caring for must be a real awful person.” No, no they are not. Not at all, one of the reasons I was loving them was because of how fantastic they were, how much potential and love God had for them, and because God brought them into my life and it has blessed me for them to be there, through both the good and the bad.
No one is inherently evil. I refuse to believe that. Paul talks about that in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 or the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
Paul is talking about our daily lives and what we deal with on a day to day basis. He talks about whenever there is an issue or a problem that it’s really not because of that person (the flesh) but because of the spiritual warfare constantly going on in the background. We are constantly fighting for God’s Glory to be evident amongst an almost overwhelming sea of bad situations and darkness, but we persevere because God gives us the strength and the love to do so. And because God is love, why would we act violently towards the people He wants us to love, when we know it is the spiritual turmoil inside that person that is causing the bad situations to happen.
With this being said, and to tie it into my story, this, by no means, is to imply that you should just throw your heart and love at someone until they turn to what is right. Sometimes, it takes loving someone to the full extent of your God given grace, and at the end of it, after being the example of God’s love and want for them… Letting them go into the darkness, into their own choices. For them to have no other safety net except God to turn to when the distractions and simple pleasures prove to not be enough. And then all you can do is pray that they turn to God before they get hurt too badly. Because I have been to the rock bottom, and it is awful.
But God is love, and God is good, and I have faith that His love will forever outshine and wash away any feelings of filth and failure that rock bottom is filled with. Because He’s done that for me. So many times. Which in the end, goes to show, we are to love as God loves and to know that we follow His command and guidance in loving his people since He is love and in His perfect all-knowing wisdom, knows exactly how each and every one of us needs to be loved.
And there’s no love better than that.