An ongoing struggle to get what "love" really means
Have you arrived? Christians commonly make a pretty big issue about the fact that we never achieve perfection while still on Earth. Makes total sense to me. And there are many sermons and discussions held among Christians about how to be better at the business of being Holy. I've spent the better part of my life hearing those sermons, reading the Bible over and over, participating in small groups (remember when they were called Sunday School and conveniently met on Sunday before church?), and doing a fair amount of writing on the subject.
The core tenant of the Bible is "love." Can we agree? Do you feel like you love well? Do you work on loving God and loving others better? I feel like I've been figuring out how to do that my entire life, and from time-to-time there is some sense that I get it. Not like I'm perfect, but that I get it!
I look at the love chapter. I Cor: 13 Good place for advice. How am I doing. Pretty good...
I consider the basics of love: Unconditional, sacrificial, forgiving, trusting. Needs more work...
I revisit The Beatitudes ... Again! Thank God I have the help of the Holy Spirit. Amen?
I hear another sermon on dying to self. Agghhh!
Here is where I find myself at this writing. Motive. What is motivating me to do whatever I do. Month to month. Day to day. Moment to moment. Do I act out of self interest or is my first or even second thought about any decision: Is this God's will, and does it show love of God and others?
For a decade or so, the idea of being continuously in prayer has seemed to me more important that a daily devotional of any length. Maybe these two ideas dovetail. My continuous prayer would be to have the heart of God as I make my way through the day.
That heart of God would result in acts for God and others that are motivated by nothing other than believing that the act will further the interests of God or the person effected. What are my more likely motives:
- Will this give me bonus points with Jesus
- Will this make the other person like me more
- Will I get loved back because I'm doing this
- Will I personally benefit financially or emotionally
- How will my act effect my reputation or legacy
- Do I have any potential for loss, harm, or pain
- Will my family benefit
- Will my close friends benefit
But I'm practicing having a heart of love. The story is developing. How about you?