All you need is love

Pr. 2:6:  “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

My mom and I were talking about love yesterday.  Perhaps that is what caused this dream I had last night.

I was in an old school building and there was an evil woman forming in the wall.  I was with a group and as we were waiting for the moment for her to form, I flashed back to the last time she had come.  We had tried to defeat her with battle, but apparently had not won.  She had turned some of our group into animals and although she had gone away for a time, she was now forming again.

A man and I gathered some of our loved ones that had turned to animals and hid in a closet, blocking the door, and preparing to fight again.  As we were waiting, I realized that fighting was not the answer.  The answer was love.

I opened the door, and as the evil one approached, instead of striking out at her, I began speaking love.  We all sat around her, and I reminded her of the good in her.  I told her why she was special.  I spoke lovingly of the things about her that were uniquely created, and about why I loved her.

As I spoke, she was motionless; unable to move in the presence of my love.  Her face began changing and eventually I could tell that she was free.  There was nothing dark or evil about her any longer.  She smiled and everyone cheered.  That’s my last memory of the dream.

As evil takes form in our world, and turns some of our loved ones to ‘animals’, and as we stand in the face of things that seems scary, I believe the same answer holds true.

Do we need to strike out at others?  Is it best that we prove our point?  Do we need to attack people with the Word or our opinions of the Word?  Is aggression towards sinners the answer?  I don’t think so.

I believe the love of God deserves more credit than that.  God is love, and His love for us is so strong that He gave His only Son that we should not perish.  We cannot keep that love for ourselves and offer only condemnation and judgment to those around us who are less than perfect.

Realizing that we are not the ultimate judge, we are here to offer hope, love, compassion, understanding, empathy, and the beauty of the freedoms in Christ.  Loving sinners does not mean you love sin.  It means you are following Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself.

The Beatles weren’t the first ones to let us know that all we need is love.  Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you…by this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:34-35

Let’s trust Him enough to offer that love and leave the rest to Him.

Loving you,

jamie

 

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Doing good for your own soul

Pr. 11:17:  “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”

Well, I could walk around kicking puppies and stepping on people’s feet, but with an already fractured shin, I would not only hurt them, but further hinder my own recovery and possibly injure myself even more.  The same is true for any cruelty.

Showing mercy is like this heating pad on my knee…not only does it keep me from hurting others (since I’m sitting in one spot, minding my own shortcomings), but it brings warmth, comfort, and relief as my body is healing.

Just thinking out loud,

jamie

 

Tender mercies

Pr. 12:10 stood out to me today, for the very first time.  “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”

I became addicted to reruns of the show Hoarders for a bit.  There were several shows about people who call themselves ‘animal-lovers.’  There was a man with over 30 cats that he “couldn’t live without.”  The cats were his world, and his only friends.  He loved them more than himself.

The sad truth was that animal rescue found 8 dead cats in his house, and had to euthanize about 5 of the 32 live cats he had.  The rest of the live cats were in serious crisis regarding their health and required a lot of care and medication to be brought to good health.  Many were dehydrated and malnourished.  Many were blind or had serious eye infections.

This man’s “tender mercies” were actually very cruel.  He truly thought he was regarding their lives, showing them the love they needed, and was giving them all that they required for a healthy life.  He truly believed that by giving them the run of his home, they were in better care than if they were anywhere else.  He sat out food and water daily and his entire house could be used as a litter box.  All that freedom would surely lead to a fulfilling and healthy life for them.

What a righteous man knows is that to truly regard the life of your animal, you must get them vaccinated, bathe them, check them for parasites, fleas, and disease.  You must ensure that your animal eats daily and drinks the water they need.  You must ensure that your animal has a clean and healthy environment in which to live.  That is how you truly care for an animal.

Vaccinations hurt.  Boundaries can seem unreasonable during certain seasons of emotion.  Clean water requires the effort of cleaning the bowl and getting the new water.  Bug checks are intentional moments where you examine the entire surface of the animal.  Eye exams require a doctor’s expertise.  All these things require intentionality and they are not all fun, but they are necessary for health.

The same goes for us.  Rebukes hurt.  Boundaries can seem boring, unfair, or unreasonable at times, depending on where our eyes are focused.  Drinking from Living Water requires the effort of cleansing ourselves of impurities and getting into the Word and prayer.  Sin checks are intentional moments where we allow God to examine us, test us, and try us, so that He may help us get rid of any impurity that is trying to infect us and keep us from Him.  Eye exams keep us looking to God to prevent the blindness of sin to take over, or the lies of satan and this world from blurring God’s truth.

Things that require effort in our walk with The Lord aren’t cruel at all; they actually give us a fulfilling life until we go home to heaven.  We can live a life free of blindness, dehydration, and malnutrition if we keep our eyes on the things above, drink from The Living Water, and eat of The Bread of Life.  God has called us to live a life of abundance and freedom in Him.  He truly regards the lives of his children.

Thankful for a righteous caretaker,

jamie