“If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1Corinthians 13:3
I’ve been praying this week about these 25 days of giving and I’ll be honest with you, my initial thoughts were that this would be easy for me. Simple acts of giving that glorify God are everywhere and being kind, encouraging others, making meals and extending a helping hand are all right inside my comfort zone. So, as I was praying I sorta let God know that this would be easy for me.
Yes, “I” let GOD know.
Have you ever done that…“let God know” something about yourself… like He needed to be informed, like He didn’t already know? I don’t know about you, but every time I do that I quickly find God letting me know that I don’t really “know” anything.
Maybe you’ve heard my little saying, “the silent sting of conviction, it’s my bitter-sweet addiction.” Well no sooner did I “let God know” that this would be easy for me, did a simple, silent, stinging question become burned onto my heart.
“Heidi… do you give Love?”
What? Yes, I give Love! Don’t I? Doesn’t it just eat you up when in one moment you are so confident about something and in the next you become so completely unsure?
Do I give Love? I began to ponder this silent, stinging question, again I thought yes… I give love to my husband, to my children, to my friends and family. The question deepened in my heart, “Do you give love even when those you love aren’t being lovely?”
That’s when I knew what He was getting at.
Do I give love when 2 of my children are fighting to the death over a single toy or being disobedient in the grocery store… no I give frustration and I give anger.
Do I give love when my husband is sick for too long or can’t make it home on time for dinner because he’s got more work… no I give more frustration and I give more anger.
The bitter-sweet conviction that I’m tasting is my lack of giving love to this family right here under this roof. Yes, I do love them, especially when they love me back, but when they are being unlovely or not meeting my expectations I often fail to give them love.
My sin? Breaking the greatest command given to us…“love one another” John 13:34.
That command is not in the form of a question saying “love one another, if you feel like it or only if they deserve it”, it’s a statement, an order, it’s a command... “LOVE one another.” It goes on to say, “as I (Christ) have loved you.”
I don’t remember Christ on the cross saying, “oh God, these people don’t love me and they’ve acted terribly, they don’t deserve this gift you offer them.” No, he says, “forgive them, they know not what they do.”
He gives Love. Unconditionally, He gives us Love.
So, as I said, I thought this would be easy and I know that I could still make it easy and go on giving comfortably the way that I have or I could get serious and get uncomfortable and give in a way that I never have.
My 25 days will be filled with giving love to my husband and children at the expense of my feelings. I’m throwing out frustration and anger and begging God for more Kindness, more Patience, more Joy, more Understanding and more LOVE.
I’m sharing my personalized, scripture directed plan of action with you all… my sweet accountability girls…
I will pray that… “the Lord will make my love increase and overflow for my husband and children at all times.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12
I will seek His strength… “to do everything in Love” 1 Corinthians 16:14
I will praise Him for giving me the ability to… “Love them deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
I will glorify him because… “all men will know that I am His disciple, if I give them love." John 13:35
Father forgive me for acting in the flesh and letting my feelings control me when it comes to these beautiful gifts you’ve given me in my husband and children. Thank you that they love me still. Please, show me how You love me even when I’m not all that lovely. I know I can’t do it, but I know that You can do it in me.