Archive for the ‘Choosing to Love’ Category

Choose the Words that Matter

December 23rd, 2010

Our words matter.

The words we speak and the words we listen to.

“Let no one deceive you with empty words…” Ephesians 5:6

There are many opinions and voices clamoring for my (our) attention. I feel pulled (because of my own sin) to align and take sides (no one is actually asking me to). I must remind myself of the truth, that I am already on a side; I’m covered in the blood that gushed from the One side that I do claim allegiance to, Jesus Christ.

I don’t need to feel measured or approved by anyone but my God. Neither do you.

(“Lord, what do you say?”)

I have judged my siblings in Christ. I have not loved as I would like to have been loved. I have measured others.

I have strong convictions and I hold dear to them because I believe God has given me revelation and I must therefore walk faithfully to His call. What I cannot do is lay bricks upon my siblings in Christ to follow suit. I’m recognizing that I need to be ever vigilant of the anger that wells up in me when there are theological disagreements between myself and my siblings in Christ, because the truth is, it’s just my pride in disguise. The world will know we are His by our love for one another, not our truth arrows aimed at one another. I tend to aim. I also must guard against thinking I am better than anyone else; it’s an easy trap to fall into when we think we’ve got it right. We have nothing and are nothing without Jesus. We are only where we are because of the revelation He has given us and the hope He lays before us in His mercy.

I can’t change you. You can’t change me. Only His hands lifting the veil can give me clarity; only His spirit invading mine can make me move. So why judge one another? Why get angry when someone doesn’t agree, or change? No more.

In this coming new year I purpose to be a hope giver. I purpose to try not to win arguments, but instead to show the world that I love my fellow saints because of our blood bond.

I purpose to love you well, write words that matter, and go before the throne of grace before I open my mouth.

I purpose to listen to only One voice.

Here’s to the New Year!

Grace, truth, and love over you!

___

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Remember {for those who have a hard time with certain people during the holidays}

December 21st, 2010

Remember.

If you know the King,

you worship at a throne of Grace. You worship the God who is all-powerful and has all authority in heaven and on earth. You worship the God who is the only one who can tell you who you are. Listen to the truth.

This holiday season, stand in truth and walk in the confidence of your position as a child of God. If you feel anxious or defensive or angry around certain people this time of year, hold tight to your identity in Christ, and ask God to help you love and see people how He does.

Maybe you need to carve out a moment of still to ask God how He sees you.

___

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How Can I Not Share This?

December 6th, 2010

“So for over ten years now, we have nothing under the Christmas tree here, and I tell that crazy story and people have to ask and it’s a good question:

So if you don’t exchange gifts, what do you do then on Christmas morning?”

I read this post on Christmas Change today and I am STRETCHED. I have to share it with you…read the whole article here:

Ten Things to Do on Christmas Morning: When all the Gifts are for Him

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Can You See?

November 30th, 2010

Sometimes I look at you instead of Him.

And when I look at you, I see my version of your life instead of His, and then I don’t love you very well. Or sometimes I love you better. Either way, there is a log in my view which obstructs seeing things the way He does.

I see out of the broken. He sees out of the whole.

I’m asking for His eyes so that I can love you well.

So that I can see you, and you can see me, and we can really love each other.

And here in the broken meeting the whole grace makes sense. Grace covers the incomplete.

The truth is, grace.

So love.

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

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Human Flesh Despises True Love

October 17th, 2010

When there is risk, choose love.

When there is uncertainty, choose love.

When there is sin, choose love.

When there is hurt, choose love.

“Love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.”  1 Peter 4:8 The Message

“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 NASB

Love is hard; there is pain in true love.

Love is never easy in the long run. It is especially hard when our human flesh despises real love.

Still,

choose love. Or better yet, let Him choose it for you.

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

“If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”  1 John 4:20

A way to teach children how to love with their hands.

Don’t Always Believe What You’re Told

August 9th, 2010

Today is her birthday.

Two years ago she was supposed to be dead.

That’s what they said.

Two months was the guess, but could be two years…doubtful. “She has no working liver left.”

Cirrhosis of the liver…fatal.

She was yellow and swollen.  She looked nine months pregnant (from asites). I flew out to be with her for what were supposed to be her final days.

We made all the preparations, and then we prayed and waited.

Miracles occurred.

She moved in with us and is with us still.  Still.

Alive.

Living.

Two years later.

It hasn’t been easy growing into new skin, for her or for myself, but I am learning to love her.

And she’s always wanted to be loved.

It is indeed a day to celebrate.

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…”  Joel 2:25

He is mighty to save.

Related: a post by my mom on her experience from darkness to light.

Strange Love

July 13th, 2010

It is so weird to have such conflicting emotions about people.

I am such a sensitive soul, and I’m learning to grow a thicker skin while yet maintaining who God made me to be.  I am easily won over and I cannot hold a grudge for long…just ask my husband (he wins every argument because all he has to do is look at me kindly and speak a gentle word and I’m a puddle).

The strange love part comes in when someone hurts me, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and I find myself so angry at them, but then seeking to understand them better, looking deeper, and finding that I cannot stay mad.  Then pride comes in.  I don’t want to say, “hey, I really like you but I don’t want to like you because you are a meany.”

Because deep down, they really aren’t a meany, they are just wounded, just like I am.

Or maybe they are mean, or misunderstood, or whatever.  It doesn’t really matter, I don’t think, because the emotions I’m contending with don’t affect them.  I am the one who has to sort out with myself.

Part of my emotions also push me to want to defend myself, cry ‘FOUL’ and hold the line.  Then, there is this spirit in me that says, “let it go, your identity is in Me, not what others think of you.” And man, that is hard to reconcile.

But it is true. He gives identity, and He is the only one with the authority to do so.

So while I sit here and squirm in my skin, trying to figure out this strange love, I’ll remember His words,

“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.”  Colossians 2:9-10

Muddled Love

July 5th, 2010

I’ve been going about this all wrong.

My heart doesn’t translate over wires and so I know I must learn a new way.  Loving first, living convictions, speaking gentle.

Not pushing.

Not pulling.

Listening, wrapping arms, lifting up.

Clinging to Him, trusting His Word, figuring out the ‘how’ of the tongue.

Face to the floor.

Choosing Love Over Resentment

May 20th, 2008

It is far easier to blame and resent than it is to love. At least it is for me. I am learning how to lay down my pride in order that I may choose love. Recently, my husband, a godly and wise man, and I had a huge disagreement. I wanted very badly to do something that would have cost a large amount of money, but that, in my mind, was completely worth it. He said it was not the best choice for our family, but if I really wanted to do it, than I would have to sacrifice something else I really wanted to do because we couldn’t do both. I wrestled, prayed, cried, fought, and finally, felt at peace about not doing the thing I so badly wanted to do. The issue was resolved, or so I thought. Then today, something sparked the pain I held inside for not doing the thing, and resentment flooded my heart. I blamed my husband, something I promised him I wouldn’t do. I acted horribly towards him, and in response, he showed great insensitivity towards my hurt feelings. We were both upset and stood still in unmoving resentment towards one another. Thankfully, I have been blessed with a wonderful and very wise mother-in-law, who helped me sort through my emotions and see the issue with more clarity. She prayed for me, and it was just what I needed.

No matter how hurt I am, or who is “right” or “wrong,” I know that I must choose to let go of my resentment and love the good man that God gave me. In humility, I will choose love, which requires laying down my life. How hard it can be, but the rewards of grace and forgiveness are certainly sweeter than the constant sting of bitterness.

If you are struggling with resentment or bitterness, here are some suggestions that have helped me:

    • Find someone who you trust and has wisdom to talk things through with.
      (I recommend an older, godly woman who has a track record for sage advice)

 

  • Have a willing spirit to submit in humility to God and the person you’re upset with.

 

 

  • Heed the wise, godly advice you receive.

 

 

  • Pray before you speak with the person whom has hurt you.

 

 

  • Choose an appropriate time to talk when emotions have cooled.

 

 

  • Be willing to see your own sin and confess it to the person.

 

 

  • Share how you feel and be willing to forgive and love no matter their response.
    (this is extremely hard, but if we pray and trust God, we can do it)

 

 

  • Don’t bring the issue up again.

 

 

  • When emotions arise that make you feel resentful, take them straight to the Lord, confess your continued resentment, and ask for the grace to forgive and let go.

Remember, God chose love with us.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8


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    I'm Sarah Mae. I'm figuring out how to fit perfect into fallen skin. Stick around for the stretching...your soul is welcome here.

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