How could we fill the voids in our lives and relationships with love? We can learn that understanding is more important than agreement, and we can learn to say: “I love you very much,” in ways that can be received.
Matthew 9:35-36 (MSG) Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. 36 When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd.
Jesus’ Love was always on. . .FULL BLAST!
Jesus’ compassion is without rival. Consider the woman who was caught in adultery or “Blind Bartimaeus”. Remember the woman with the issue of blood, who touched the hem of His cloak? Or Zacchaeus, who was hated by all, but Jesus still went to his house?
Luke 13 records Jesus’ grief over Jerusalem, It is pure agony. How could He love the city that would condemn and murder him? How could He love them when they caused so much pain? How do you love through the pain, the conflict, and the betrayal?
Love is About Who and What You Support, Protect, and Champion.
Many view Jesus’ more violent displays of love from a negative perspective. Many focus on how He shut down the Pharisees or Romans. But in every case that Jesus expressed love in ways that look punitive or tough, He was FOR someone or something else.
So, WHAT are we FOR. WHO are we FOR?
Relationships Are Risky But Isolation Is Deadly
1 John 3:14 (NIV) We know that we have passed from death to life because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
The Challenge of Perspectives. Every person in your life has a different perspective than you. The lens through which we view life is shaped by many variables.
The Issue of Improper Goals. We often believe that the GOAL of our communication is to come to an agreement. That leaves us only a few possible outcomes. You agree with me, and your opinions/ideas disappear. I agree with you, and my opinions/ideas disappear. Or, we disagree, and both keep our opinions/ideas.
But, with UNDERSTANDING, another option becomes possible. We find a third solution, We find OUR solution, and ultimately, our original, less informed opinions/ideas disappear.
The Problem of Styles.
- Passive people communicate from the perspective of, “I don’t matter, only you matter.” That’s the Christian thing to do. Do you really think God created you to not matter? But then what happens? You explode eventually? Healthy people will not hang with you because you are unknowable. Toxic people will find you and consume you.
- Aggressive people shout, “I matter, and you do not.” A lot of leaders, and even pastors, are aggressive. Usually, the aggressive person finds a passive person and marries them because they both agree, “You don’t matter, I matter.”
- Passive Aggressive people whisper, “I matter, You don’t but let’s pretend you do. But, really it’s only me.” The passive-aggressive person will never tell you what’s up but will gaslight you, destroy your reputation, etc. Until you choose their way, of your own free will??
- Assertive people believe, “I matter, and You matter.” The assertive person will give you good information about themselves and will then listen to understand the good information about you.
Yes, relationships are risky, but now you see why they’re risky, and you can adjust.
I Love You Very Much!
Colossians 3:14 (NLT) Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
1 Corinthians 14:1 (NLT) Let love be your highest goal!
1 John 3:18 (NLT) Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
My (Spouse, Friend, Child, Etc) is Trying to Love Me…Safely. But, am I a safe person? If your child shared their dreams and passions, would you listen? If your spouse spoke the wrong language to you, would you try to be accepting? Would you give them good information to improve communication for the next conflict, or would you try to punish them in some way?
Do I Care What is Happening within the Other Person? Am I willing to understand? Am I willing to give up being right? You may have been RIGHT considering the information you had, but your spouse is trying to give you new and more current information. Can you adjust?
It isn’t about being RIGHT. It’s about loving others. How can I turn my LOVE on FULL BLAST?
Will I Turn My Love On? I can ask myself, “What Is God saying in this?” God loves me, and He is saying something filled with love at this moment. What can I try? Could I do better things for the person I care about?
What is the POINT!?
We can learn that understanding is more important than agreement. We can also learn to say, “I love you very much” in ways that can be received.
The Love Bank.
Your marriage, friendships, even your life runs on love. You are making withdrawals all the time. When you are testy, selfish, or struggling you need to be loved. You don’t want to bounce checks on your love bank. In whom and in what ways could you make deposits this coming week?