30 days of forgiveness
Actions have consequences. I don’t live alone on an island. I have friends who know Jesus and listen well. Before my stinkin’ thinkin’ becomes regrettable actions, I reason things out with people I trust and respect. They keep me accountable and I’m a better woman for it.
Jesus put us together because we need each other. I’m not a Lone Ranger believer who thinks all it takes is a right relationship with my Savior and deep Bible study … all by myself. No church fellowship required.
There’s a reason Adam needed Eve, and six out of 10 commandments deal with relationships. God knew we would need each other. Living in a vacuum was not an option.
Each of us must work out our own salvation, i.e., I need to learn how to live according to the plan laid out for me in His Word.
Jesus said the most important commandment is, “Love your neighbors as yourselves.” We’re commanded to love ourselves. Before healing began I hated myself.
Learning to love myself
It has been said learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all. I disagree. The greatest love of all is to love Jesus. From that love we learn to love ourselves and our neighbors. We begin to see how Jesus sees us and others he created.
I have struggled to “fall in love” with Him. I took a Song of Solomon class where the instructor lived that reality for 10 years under Mike Bickle at International House of Prayer.
Song of Solomon
Her passion, at first, was cute and amusing. Over time it became contagious. Her husband once shared he consoled her after a worship set because she was in tears. She was sincerely crying out, “I just love him so!”
I want to be swept away by the lover of my soul like that. I want the kind of passion for Jesus that bubbles over. I, too, want to sob uncontrollably because I love him so much.
I have a heart of stone by design because Jesus knew I would have a difficult life. However, slowly my heart is becoming flesh.
I used to be the Ice Queen. I rarely cried. These days, I catch myself crying during a good chick flick, in therapy and when I’m alone. It’s truly a miracle.
My heart is being restored and revived so I can love myself. This is very likely the reason I’m even willing to entertain forgiving my parents.
I’m learning to love me because Jesus loves me exactly the way I am. I’m also learning to love my neighbors such as my parents.
Yes, unconditional love is an action I can take, which can have life-saving consequences for those I love. Yes, I can and am willing to love them as I love myself.
Points to ponder
Who is driving you nuts? What actions can you take today to show unconditional love? What boundaries do you need to put in place so you can love your neighbors (and enemies) as yourself?