With our recent political activities causing much dissension and anger, we can find ourselves overwhelmed by watching too many news reports or talk shows. Even if we are not engaging in disruptive behavior, our emotions can become involved if we do not take the time to recognize what is happening in our feelings.
February is the month we focus on love more than any other. While the flowers, cards, and candy we get are nice, that is not the reflection of true love. Love is a not an emotion, but a decision. It is a commitment we make to another person to do what is best for them at some kind of cost to us. The love in a marriage commitment will not be the same as love shown to a friend, but despite the difference the commitment is still real when they need us.
The hardest love to express is toward those who are not acting in a loving manner. The only way to do this is to remember the love God has shown toward us. While our minds may rationalize that we haven’t acted as badly as someone else, the point is—sin is sin. It doesn’t come in degrees. God forgave all of us for everything and He expects us to do the same for others. This can’t be done by willpower, but only by the Holy Spirit controlling us through constant exposure to God through prayer and His Word.
The negative comments are not going to end. Our responsibility is to determine how we are going to react.
First, we can spend less time listening to the destruction, but since it is totally unavoidable we can remember Colossians 3:13, “Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do (NKJV).”
We can also examine our own thoughts and make sure we are not dwelling on negative issues and problems. Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you (NKJV).” Would you join me this month in asking our heavenly Father to show us how to pray for those whose eyes are blinded to the truth of God’s love? When I don’t feel like praying for angry people, I am asking God to remind me of how Jesus stretched out His arms and died for me. When I see that sacrifice, how can I possibly judge someone else for behavior that reflects they don’t know Him?
We can keep the light on in our hearts when the Light of the world is the one flipping the switch. When His light illuminates, darkness is exposed and the hardest of hearts can soften to the point of repentance.
I once was lost, but now I’m found. I was blind, but now I see.