I’ve been thinking about love & its various expressions as they relate to different relationships (kids, parents, mates, friends, etc). In my thinking, I’ve also been considering not only what love is, but also what love is not & here are some take aways I’ve been considering. Love is not:
- selfish – hence my tweet from a few days ago about love making decisions in the best interests of the recipient & not merely the giver of love
- inconsistent – love is stable & as such, doesn’t merely function in the realm of feelings
- hateful, malicious, evil, cruel or sadistic
- apathetic – this word comes from the greek meaning to lack feeling or passion (a-pathy). Perhaps indifference is more deadly than guns, bombs & knives
- egocentric or prideful – maybe these would be synonyms with selfish
These are some interesting observations, but what is more important than observation is application. I know that I want to love well & authentically, but I get frustrated with myself because I fail. It is exactly these frustrations, among other things, that cause me to turn to God because God is love. I turn to God to live in a deeper relationship with Him so that He can love others more authentically through me.
Christmas can sometimes be an expensive holiday, depending on how you celebrate it. Given the economy this year, along with the employment situation for many of my friends, I thought I’d suggest a gift that doesn’t require money but is thoroughly invaluable to not only the receiver but also to you the person giving the gift. Interested to know what you can give that’s expensive but doesn’t cost money?
See, here’s the deal: we all have people in our lives that need our forgiveness. Whether its the jerk that cut you off when you’re driving or the very hurtful remark someone said to you at work. Or maybe you’ve been hurt by something your mate said to or about you without thinking of the sting it has left in you. Maybe someone did something to you in your childhood that still affects you to this day. The truth is, no one has to look hard for opportunities to forgive – our life is full of such opportunitites every day.
So this Christmas, let’s give others the gift of forgiveness – to let go.
- Forgiveness is given when we don’t remind the person of their shortcoming.
- Forgiveness is given when we speak kind words without sarcasm (or do our best to be pleasant)
- Forgiveness is given when we want what is in the offenders best interest (and not the getting even approach)
- Forgiveness is given when we don’t have to always make the offender know that we’re forgiving them
I think that many of us don’t do the forgiveness because it takes alot of work & its much less work to not forgive, especially at the beginning of an offense. But i’ve found that the longer i hold onto an offense, the harder it is to let it go & the more drained i become from maintaining the offense.
So be generous this season without spending alot of money 🙂
Give the gift of forgiveness & go into the new year with greater freedom and liteness of being 🙂