Thursday, June 18, 2015

On loving.

  Remember when I said I planned to read through the Bible this year and memorize 2 verses each month? I'm 6 months in and still sticking with it! In all honesty, I've missed some days and had to play catch up here and there. But I'm right on track overall and loving these new disciplines. The last time I checked in was March, so I figured I was due for another. 
  I'm still praying the big prayers I mentioned last time, in addition to some new ones. And believing God is faithful to do big things. But the theme lately seems to be loving others. Have you read Luke 6 lately? It full of thoughts on loving generously, not judging others, and the attitude of hearts overflowing from mouths. BAM. 
  I love loving people. Even those others may find difficult to love. But the ones I find difficult to love? Not so easy. My Bible has a side note on Luke 6:38- it talks about how any good cook knows that when you can get more flour in a measuring cup if it is pressed down, shaken around, and heaped over the top. That's the same sort of measure God uses when he gives back to us after we've given generously to others, including those we prone to judge and condemn. Gah. Heart check. Then it goes on to ask who you've dealt with out of stingy heart lately and how you can instead be generous beyond expectation to them. You guys. These verses and notes are gutting me.
  I'm still rolling them over in my head and prayers. What does that mean for me? What does it look like practically? And I know I'm not alone. You surely have someone{s} in your life that is a little harder to love. We all do, at some point in life. But without expectation? So, acknowledging they may never change or become easier to love generously, but you'll do it well anyway? That's the catch for me, I think. I have conditions, even if I'd rather not admit it. Like, really? There isn't anything in it for me? No healing or redemption or apologies? That's such an ugly part of my heart, but a real one. 
  So. How do you do it? How do you pray for and act on a heart and love change? I know it starts with prayer, which is where I am now. And a lot of dying to self and selfish desires, for sure. I'm not there yet. But I'm taking all tips and advice! What practical ways do you step outside of yourself and love others? 
  And on a more general note, what are you learning these days? Let's chat! I love my little accountability group that is going through the Bible together this year. Hearing where others are and what they're learning grows me. Maybe you aren't caught up in the challenges from Luke 6 to build a firm foundation so your words and actions reflect your good heart and to love generously, without condition. But something else? 

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