LOVE DOES, PART 6: LOVING INEFFICIENTLY

Posted by Tori on Jun 27, 2013 in a good word., Sisterhood Summer Study

We made it!! This book is revolutionary, and I hope it has revolutionized (and will continue to revolutionize) your faith a little along the way. You know, loving inefficiently is something Bob talks about all the time — not only that, it’s how he lives. It’s a lot like the picture of grace we looked at in Part 4 as being a one-way love. And, he adds the element of “whimsy” to it. For Bob, whimsy is combining the action or the exercising of our faith with something that is worth the doing or the exercising. It’s spontaneous, anonymous, and out of the box.

I really have learned a lot about myself as I’ve read through this book. I have realized that I am way too selfish & uptight to love like Jesus. In Matthew 22, Jesus has a conversation with some Pharisees that went like this:

34But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. 35One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36″Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And He said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the great and foremost commandment. 39The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus boiled down everything involved in living for God to this: loving God with all we have, and loving other people like we do ourselves. If we get these two right, everything else will fall into place. But, do I really (fully and selflessly) love God with ALL I am (not holding back one, single ounce of me)…and do I really love my neighbor like I do myself? I, of course, would like to think that I do, but far too often, I don’t. Not only have I been confronted with how self-absorbed I am, I’ve also seen that there is an element of fear that holds me back from loving my neighbor as I should. I’m afraid I’ll lose something, or get something on me, or afraid of something unknown.

What would my love look like if I cared more about other people than myself, and trusted Him so fully that I wasn’t afraid of anything? Well, for one thing, it would look a whole lot more like Jesus. And a whole lot less religious and uptight.

You see, Jesus loved on the people that everyone else had cast aside — the ones that everyone overlooked or ignored — mainly because they had an idea that they were somehow better, or that they may somehow be contaminated by getting too close. He loved on people with leprosy, a woman who bled for twelve years, a short man catching a glimpse of Him from a tree, a man with demons, and on and on and on. And, Jesus made time for them.

If I really love God with all my heart, soul, and mind, then I will trust Him fully and completely. I’ll know what it means for Him to love in and through me. I’ll know that on my own, apart from Him, I’m incapable of any semblance of love. And, from that place, I will love my neighbor as myself. Because then, I won’t be afraid of contamination, or loss, or image, or that my to-do list won’t get crossed off, or anything. I won’t be afraid because I will be secure and rooted in my identity as His.

People are always more important. This is one that I think Bob understands well. And, it’s one the Lord began teaching me when I was a brand new college student. I was so focused and concerned on what I needed to accomplish, that I found myself frustrated when I would get interrupted. But, He quickly opened my eyes to the truth that stopping for that 10-minute conversation with a hall-mate who just needed to get something off her chest, or offering a hug to someone who had a hard day, or noticing another person’s need was far more important than if the paper was finished on time or if I slept that night. And, He proved it to me over and over. That He was enough and that loving Him well and loving my neighbor well really did cause everything else to fall into place.

This life that He invites us to live fully in Him is incredible. We need to allow His Spirit to move us past just agreeing with what we read in the Scripture or see lived out in the life of Jesus to actually doing it; actually taking the next step to live it. It’s what James talks about when we put action and life to our profession of faith. Without it, the faith is dead. Now, it’s important to remember that we cannot just up and do this on our own. If we try that, I guarantee it will fail. Every time. It has to be Him doing it in us. But, He will show us what the next step is.

I would love to hear what you have learned and are taking away from this incredible book. Below you’ll find a “Thank You” video from Bob on all the support for Love Does that he made almost a year ago. Enjoy.

“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.” (Philippians 1:9, NLT)

 

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1 Comment

Gold Price
Jul 31, 2013 at 1:51 pm

We spend so much time waiting to be loved, hoping love will find us, searching, yearning for that special love. Feeling empty and lost without it. Wanting someone to give us love and fill us up. Unfortunately, that’s not usually how life works. Loving yourself is mainly having self-respect, which is the only dependable way to create love in your own life to share with others. When you expect love from an external source, and someone or something does not fulfill your void and fantasies, then you will feel worse than before. To be able to be loved, you must love and respect yourself as much as you do others. Understanding the effects of loving yourself will only enhance your ability to love others. By doing so, you are enabling positive energy and allowing for great situations to occur in your life. This guide will help. Never think that you’re living your life for nothing. Everyday, there are people coming in and out of the world, so spend it wisely and respect yourself. Sometimes we feel as if our lives rely on that one person. We think ‘If I do this, he/she will like me.’ We tend to waste time avoiding those certain people, and regret it later. We miss them, yearn for their love, and even waste birthday wishes on them. In order to love someone, you must love yourself.


 

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