Saturday, March 5, 2016

TO LOVE AND BE WISE--by Linden Malki

"Love"  means a lot of different things to different people, but one of my favorite working definitions is "having some one else's best interests as important to you as your own."   An interesting restatement of the Golden Rule, perhaps, but easier to see in practice in some ways.  This kind of love is not just an emotion, that you can walk away from when the chills up your spine fade.  When we see that we are told to love God--and each other--with "heart, soul, mind an strength"  we are called to engage not only emotion, but our intelligence,  commitment, concern, character and relationship with God. 

We are told that "God is Love", but sometimes that's not easy to see. We see people who are angry with God for things that didn't live up to expectations. We see Him being "intolerant" of the moneychangers in the Temple, and of professional religious folks missing the point.   What we think of as "loving" may not be in our best interests, and we don't know what is actually going on.  We see this in the incident of Jesus and the
"Rich Young Ruler".  Mark tells us that Jesus looked at the young man with love--but what Jesus said might not sound loving:  "One more thing you must do. Go sell what you have and give to the poor; then you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come and follow me" (Mark 10:21)  The young man turned and went away sad; Jesus let him go without nagging or begging or  letting the young man off the hook.  He knew what is was in this man's  best interest better than the man himself did.  It is because He loves us that we wants what is best for us in His eyes, even if we don't see it. We hopefully can apply this to our families; we should understand what our kids really need, not necessarily what they think they want.  The loving thing to do is often not the obvious or easy thing.   We are often in a situation where what we think we want is not God's best for us.  We may think we are being loving, when we are actually being enabling, or wimpy, or not holding someone up to standards that they need to recognize; in the long run it may worth about as much as Esau's stew.

The Bible is honest; it  shows us people's mistakes in judgment, their loving the wrong people in the wrong way,  their outright sin.  God knows better than we know ourselves, and has made ways for us to repent and recover and be restored.  We need to understand that God's love is beyond what we can do on our own; either our love for God or for each other is best when we tap His most powerful resource: His love.

No comments:

Post a Comment