In the previous post I laid a foundation for love. I said, “My love for God and His love for me leads to a deep relationship and consistent connection to the right foundation and way to live. My love for His enables me to remain connected to and living out truth and His will no matter that situation around me.”
The outflow of this love was the hardest part for me to understand. I was so used to being loved based on what I did, could do or brought to the table. I was used to basing my value and that of others on tangibles and actuals. How could I begin to understand unconditional love and acceptance? I needed to get this right and only God could show me.
To explain this, I was given a new family, a new place to belong. One father with many siblings but I continued to live in the old way of expectation not expectancy. I waited with baited breath when I met the family. I was waiting to be questioned, judged, assessed, evaluated, you name it, before being accepted. I waited and waited and waited but all Daddy did was to welcome me with open arms and push me to seek God more and hear Him for myself. Daddy was more interested that I was growing daily and that my walk with God was according to his plan for me than concerned about whether or not I fitted in. He knew something I didn’t and I would just have to find out for myself and it took a while.
I wanted to get the approval of my siblings to feel like I belong and the connection wasn’t forthcoming at the rate I wanted so I got frustrated. I had so much more to learn. For so long I wondered what I needed to do to be accepted and appreciated and nothing I did or said seemed to yield the desired results. The truth was that I was looking in the wrong direction. I had to stop and listen and slowly but surely I got it. I finally understood & accepted God’s unconditional love including chastisement and things begun to change. The warmth I’d so desperately desired begun to unfold once I got it and this changed my life and perception of the people around me completely.
I had to understand what God truly meant when He talks about love. He commands us to love others as He loves me. 1
John 4:19 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) We ourselves love now because he loved us first.What that means is that the first example of love is how God loves me totally and unconditionally. I must then take that love and pass it on to the world around me. I must learn to live with people devoid of expectation but full of His love.
It has slowly begun to make sense what “love your neighbours as yourself” means (Mark 12:31). Simply put it means that my external state and actions reflect my internal state. So, if I love God, I can love me & others and the opposite is also true. I can only hate or mistreat others if I have no understanding of God and His everlasting love for me. To love people is to treat them as God sees them. This means letting go of my personal preconceived ideas and standards applied to others and hear what God says about each one then respond to them as such. Each time I meet someone; I must stop and ask God who they are to him, who they are to me, what I need to give to them and what I need to receive from them. So that when I need to be soft I am, when I need to be firm I am, when I need to walk away I do, when I need to walk towards I do. The bottom line is that I learn to live from a place of love and instruction.
The hardest part of the process has been freeing people from my personal expectations and standards. There was a way I liked to relate to people. I give everything in me with no holds barred; I keep in constant touch, I look for people, I want to spend time with them and be super part of their lives. In return I expected a lot from people and often didn’t tell them what I expected. This was counterproductive because I was always tired and expended because I expected…keyword expected…people to reciprocate with the same level of intensity that I gave. Truth be told, no one can give back even a smidgen of what I give out because they are not me and cannot do it like I do. I had to learn to live life and love differently.
Learning to love people as God loves them has freed me to walk weightless and free. Oh I still need people to walk with me but now I talk openly, I ask them to do things and be part of my walk, I ask how I can help them…I talk. I no longer get upset when they don’t do all I want. Instead, I ask God for clear direction and instruction on the next step. This experience has helped me realise that as I begin to move in the right direction, revelation unfolds. As revelation unfolds I find peace and joy. I can’t say I’ve reached the peak yet but I keep walking because I know one day it’ll be all sorted. Even as the journey continues I find strength in the knowledge that I’m a work in progress. In moments of growth I find strength in knowing others have gone before me and made it.
It continually amazes me how good God is. Indeed God is a wonder…I stand amazed.
John 15:13 (NIV) Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.