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Give Love

Oh, give them love!

No matter believers or pre-believers just give them love. That’s His command to me: Live a Life of Love.

I am no intellectual… not wise in speech nor understanding. But, I have one main command: to live love.

That’s very humorous of God. Because, you see, I’m a believer that struggles with angry Anger. The God of all creation, who made me, knowing all my struggles behind and before me, decided to call me to this love - Love Him and love them.

He doesn’t care if I think He’s wrong, good or bad in any particular situation. He doesn’t care if I’m right and they are wrong. He isn’t interested in my 101 ways to improve their lives, ministry, vocation, or salvation status.

It’s a shame that I can’t make someone a project to lead them to a ‘better way’.    I am called to love.

Don’t get me wrong. I know it’s a tall order. Here are a few examples of the ways how I am to love.

  • Let love be your highest goal.
  • Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them.
  • Love your enemies.
  • And I will love those whom I did not love before.
  • Love each other with genuine affection
  • Love does no wrong to anyone
  • love satisfies all of God’s requirements
  • Love is not rude.
  • it is love that really builds up the church
  • if I didn’t love others, I would be of no value whatsoever
  • Love is not jealous.
  • Love endures every circumstance.
  • Love is not proud.
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.
  • Love never gives up.
  • Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
  • If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God’s law.
  • And everything you do must be done with love.

Comments

Comment from Nick Weisenfels
Time: July 24, 2007, 2:28 pm

What a wonderful post you have written!

Here are some quotes for you:

“He who loves the Lord has first loved his brother, because the second is a proof of the first.”
-St. John Climacus

Comment from Nick Weisenfels
Time: July 24, 2007, 2:40 pm

Oops. I hit the submit button…anyways, here’s some more quotes:

“He who says that he loves the Lord but is angry with his brother is like a man who dreams that he is running.”
-St. John Climacus

“Christ belongs to those with humble minds, not to those who would exalt themselves above His flock.”
-St. Clement of Rome

“If you wish to be saved, seek no other thing here in this world as much as love.”
-St. Cosmas Aitolos

“Love should never be sacrificed for the sake of some dogmatic difference.”
-St Nectarios of Aegina

“We must have Love, even if they do us the greatest harm, we must love them. We will be able to enter Paradise only with love.”
- Elder Amphilochios Makris

“Never look down on anyone. You do not know whether the Spirit of God prefers to dwell in you or in them.”
-Sayings of the Egyptian Fathers

Comment from Aaron
Time: July 24, 2007, 2:43 pm

I have always found 1 John 4:19 to be a very interesting verse.

“We love [him] because He first loved us.”

Especially in light of the issue with some original manuscripts omitting the word “Him” in the verse - which, in the context of the rest of the chapter (being a lot about loving others as proof of loving the Lord) would imply that we are only able to love others if we first receive the love of Christ.

It could literally be interpretted to mean “we aren’t able to love anything or anyone - we aren’t able to ‘love’ at all, if it wasn’t for His love”.

Personally, I believe that this does NOT simply mean that “love exists because of God”, but is an exhortation for us to “dwell in” (or “continually tap into the source of”) the love that we can only have if we do so. Whether that is through the studying and meditating on Scripture, prayer, fasting, worship, stillness, fellowship, and/or all of the above is up to your discernment.

Comment from Nick Weisenfels
Time: July 24, 2007, 2:56 pm

Right.

Without recieving God’s love, we aren’t able to love at all, but, sadly, as the state of the world makes clear, human beings are perfectly capable of going around not loving anyone or anything…except themselves, of course!

Self love comes not from Christ our God, but it is actually pride which comes from the Evil One.

But the fact that many people who do not believe are still filled with love for their fellow humans is a testament to the fact that God gives us His love whether we ask for it or not. “He sends rain on the just and the unjust.”

And certainly God will reward even those non-Christians who search the Holy Scriptures for truth and guidance. Absolutely, study and mdeitation on the Scriptures is the quickest way to recieve instruction in Love.

Comment from Aaron
Time: July 24, 2007, 3:18 pm

I find it interesting that the “second greatest commandment” (according to Jesus) is “love your neighbor as yourself”.

There is an epidemic in our culture of self-loathing and hatred. The Lord is wanting to teach people how to rightly “love themselves” so that they are able to rightly love others.

Unfortunately, self-loathing can be accompanied by selfishness just as easily as “self love”/pride is the embodiment of selfishness.

So, Lord, teach us to love ourselves rightly, and see ourselves as you see us - and not to walk in a false or evil self-abasement that is just as much the enemy of humility as arrogance.

Comment from Nick Weisenfels
Time: July 24, 2007, 3:37 pm

Man, I guess I stay online too long, because I am back here to re-post.

But, yes, you captured what I was trying to say. We should not “hate” ourselves, persay. But we should be totally selfless, always thinking of the needs of others rather than our own needs.

False humility is even more dangerous than pride, becase the person who is falsely humble has decieved even himself.

Comment from Anthony Potts
Time: July 24, 2007, 3:52 pm

“False humility is even more dangerous than pride, because the person who is falsely humble has deceived even himself.”

I like that. Not that am all that humble, false or genuine.

I also like the man dreaming he is running quote above.

I find that my problem with love and anger (right there with you on that Robin) is that like so many other things in my life I am very seasonal. I’m good about one particular thing for a season and then not for another. I suppose I need to update my list of things I am good at to be “inconsistency and underacheiving”, but there goes that self-loathing, so I guess I’m good at that too. This leads me to my real question. At what point does humility become self-loathing? I know that I am not perfect, but I want to be the Christian that He has called me to be. How can I become a better Christian if I don’t look at myself and think things like “Gee, Anthony, you should be more consistent or why don’t you actually do the things you are capable of”? I find it hard to find that line.

Comment from Robin
Time: July 24, 2007, 6:03 pm

Humility NEVER becomes self-loathing. Humility is seeing yourself rightly as God sees you. Seeing yourself better than you really are OR worse than you really are is Not humility. Both are being Self-Centered and Prideful.

I know I can’t be my own policeman. I’m alway too harsh or too lenient.

Anthony, give God the chance to change the things in you that you notice. Ask Him. The Lord disciplines the ones He loves, he doesn’t expect us to hold the paddle and bend over at the same time. Look to Him to produce real change in you. Ask for His help and submit to the grace He will give you to walk it out. If you are having real hang ups with something then get someone to confess it to and pray with you. I suggest Ben Shure.
You are one of the meekest people I know and I love your heart.
Don’t be so hard on yourself…God isn’t.

Comment from Nick Weisenfels
Time: July 24, 2007, 8:54 pm

I want to hear Aaron’s (and Robin’s) input on this question, but, I would suspect that we might part ways in some of our responses here. But I’ll offer my opinion anyway (so much for humility).

I think you are asking if there is a point where one becomes so humble that it actually becomes “self-loathing,” and therefore, false humility. I actually don’t think that one can ever be “too” humble. True humility and false, self-loathing humility are not the same thing, so, one cannot become the other. The entire point of the life in Christ if to grow in humility. It is mistaken to think that one can somehow become “too” humble.

We are not to fall into despair, however. The Saints teach that any action or thought which leads us to fall into despair will cause our “last state to be worse than our first,” so to speak.

Look at it this way: Christ our God voluntarily gave up his life. He said himself that “no man takes His life away, but He lays it down freely.” The Holy Apostle St. Paul said that we must die with Christ (in Baptism) before we can rise with Him in the Ressurection. So, if Christ gave up his own life, and we too are called to die with Him, how humble must we be? We must die to ourselves. Again, as the Holy Apostle states: “How can you, who are dead to sin, continue any longer therein?”

I think it is stated well in a hymn we sing during Holy Week (the week before Easter):

“COME, THEREFORE, LET US ALSO GO WITH HIM,
PURIFIED IN MIND.
LET US BE CRUCIFIED WITH HIM AND DIE THROUGH HIM
TO THE PLEASURES OF THIS LIFE.”

Comment from Aaron
Time: July 24, 2007, 11:05 pm

I’m totally with Robin on this one. Self-loathing isn’t any form of humility - false or true. Just like she said, knowing where you really stand with the Lord in individual aspects and situations of your life is humility.

Being willing to be humiliated when you’re doing the Lord’s will is humility. Being honest with yourself and others, even if sometimes it means appearing prideful, and sometimes it means appearing incompetent, is humility.

Knowing that your not perfect and that you have things to work on is just being sain… hehe… But, of course, one mustn’t confuse any of this with a refusal to prayerfully allow the Lord to point out places of immaturity (and sin) in your life and to then take the things He shows you back to Him with repentance, knowing that He was already aware of that fault, is quick to forgive, and is willing to give you the enabling grace you need to overcome it.

That’s one thing the Lord showed me in “The Lord’s Prayer” while I was up here - the humility in praying, “lead me not into temptation, and deliver me from evil”… it’s like saying, “I know my thoughts and actions are going to try and get away from me, so please come help me in advance.”

Lord help us avoid unhealthy intraspection - but instead sit ourselves quietly before You in prayer and in Your Word and allow You, Holy Spirit, to lead us into all truth, convict us of sin, lead us to repentance, and empower us to live a transformed life.

Comment from Jessica Weisenfels
Time: July 26, 2007, 12:37 pm

I read your blog too, I just don’t have as much to say about it as Nick…

(I don’t think anyone has as much to say about it as Nick.)

I am intimidated by his cleverness. Maybe that’s why lots of people read but no one comments.

BTW, can you send some of your daily 40+ unique visitors my way?
J/K…sort of.

Comment from Nyla
Time: July 26, 2007, 1:04 pm

Wow. You are one deep chick! I love your openness and honesty. Keep writing baby, it’s a ministry to me!

Comment from Aaron
Time: July 26, 2007, 1:07 pm

Hmmm… what you may consider doing is putting a similar post up on your own blog (kind of like a response, but self-contained enough that it doesn’t throw-off your own guests) and then in a short comment here you can put the link, and in your own article you can put a link back to here.

And, I agree - your husband is certianly clever and well read.

Comment from SCOTT TIPTON
Time: September 10, 2007, 9:10 am

WE WILL BE KNOWN BY OUR LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER. LOVE OTHERS MORE. LOVE GOD MORE. LOVE OURSELVES IT`S OK GOD DO. BE MORE LOVABLE

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