Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Clueless in Love

2002 Hope
Being a recycling nature lover, I was thrilled when my daughter, Hope, joined Planet Patrol in 6th grade. She took it seriously, too. She didn't want us to see Roper Mountain Lights in Greenville during the Christmas holidays.  We assured her their lights burned even if we stayed home.  "But it's too much gas to drive over there."  When we considered driving to a Disney park from our hotel on vacation, Hope absolutely refused.  "That's what the buses are for."  I was proud of her, but one morning driving to school, we had an interesting conversation.

"You know what's a great idea, Mom? School buses."                                                         
"Yes, they are."
"I mean, think of all the gasoline that's saved when people ride the bus. I'm glad people ride the school bus."
"I didn't know you felt that way. I rode the bus when I was your age. Maybe you can, too."
"Oh, no.  I wasn't talking about me.  I'm not a bus rider."
Clueless, what was good for others was not good for her.

Does "what's good for others is good for me" apply to love? Considering the love chapter, 1st Corinthians 13, What if I'm kind and patient to and not envious of the people I love or the people I like, especially when they're kind and patient with me.  What if I only behave rudely when others are rude to me. Is that love?

Imagine the crowd of clueless faces when Jesus spoke of love.
"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these."  Mark 12:31

And just as you want people to treat you, treat them in the same way." Luke 6:31

Surely he must mean treat others as they treat me.  What's good for me is good for them.  If they're rude, I should at least let everyone know about it, right?  If they lie to me, surely I can lie to them.  If they control me, shouldn't I control them?  If she gossips about me, she deserves a few slanderous remarks. Others manipulate situations to suit themselves.  Shouldn't I do the same?  If they post something negative about my school, my work, my church, or my passion on Facebook, I'm instructed to do the same, right? 

Clueless in love is not for those of us who believe. 

A few years ago, my pastor gave us a few Occasional Important Reminders. Based on Titus 3:1-8, one of our reminders was to be Magnanimously Gracious People.  Magnus -great, Animus -soul & mind.  Another reminder was NOT TO use our words to heap abuse on people, revile people with our words, be caught up in society's drama, or be contentious.  Instead, we are to be peacemakers, be under control and not fearful, and be considerate of others. link to sermon Occasional Important Reminders/January 26,2014

Love is a tall order. Believer's Bible Commentary suggests that I think of how much I love myself and how much of my activity is centered around the care and comfort of myself, then try and imagine if I showered that same love on my neighbors, everyone I know.  If I think it's impossible for me, I'm absolutely right.  I'm clueless because that behavior isn't natural.  
This love is only possible if I ask God, who is all Love, to guide me.

Happy Valentine's Day, Neighbors,