I Have Not Love

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Jesus,

Help me. I have not love. At least not love enough.

Your Daughter,

Brooke

P.S.

I only love because you first loved me. Thank you…

How numerous the opportunities to kneel or to break by 10:00 in the morning! Today, the rare occasion in which the children awake me…at 6:00 no less; I choose to kneel. Sending daddy off to work; kneel again. A visit with Little E’s case manager, I kneel as the kids either obey the first time… or not. But wait, wait for it, here it comes…I bend…then break.

Crayons are given, coloring pages laid out, one book is read, and the starting of another. It is at this point it all comes unglued. I bend something mighty and the peace breaks into the very pieces which cannot be picked up.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.~John 13:34-35

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

If I am in fellowship with Christ, then shouldn’t I demonstrate love in action? Even with the provocations of three children? Instead, I bend and so went the clanging pieces of broken people clashing loud… the absence of patient love.

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People are fond of quoting the verse, “God is love.” But, C.S. Lewis rightly questions the meaning behind these words. Are we misusing these words as mere semantics for the thought that every love people express is God? Here is what Lewis has to say in this regard:

But they seem not to notice that the words “God is love” have no real meaning unless God contains at least two Persons. Love is something that one person has for another person. If God was a single person, then before the world was made, He was not love. Of course, what these people mean when they say that God is love is often something quite different: they really mean “Love is God.” They really mean that our feelings of love, however and wherever they arise, and whatever results they produce, are to  be treated with great respect. ~ Mere Christianity, p. 151

God is love expressed in his three state relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and then to His creation. To sustain my relationship with others I require the love of God as infused by daily filling of the Holy Spirit. The filling that I should seek and lean into through prayer and the reading and memorization of Scripture.

In the church, love is the most needed as the culmination of gifts that God has given His people: teaching, acts of service, giving, admonition, etc., are utilized. Whether preaching the gospel in our home,  to the body of Christ, or to a lost world, love is the essential key for others to see Christ in us; for others to know that we actually believe what we profess.  I realize this  especially when I have chosen to stomp my feet, dig in my heels, and demand the obedience that is required from our children as their mom.

Jerry Bridges perfectly illustrates the effects of the absence of love in the following story:

I remember hearing of one university student of whom it was said, “He can lead people to Christ, but no one wants to room with him.” Whether he could, given that immaturity of character, truly lead people to a saving knowledge of Christ may be questioned by some. But whether he could or not, it is true that a great big dose of love was needed to make him truly effective. ~ True Community: The Biblical Practice of Koinonia

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After the kids had listened to the second story and sat there as quietly as possible in obedience I penned the note above. I need more of Christ because I need to love others more… I must choose to kneel.

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