Thursday, January 8, 2009

I can't love!

I find it so difficult to love certain type of people - the people who are selfish, self-righteous, and those who do double talk. It’s funny that I am not free from any of these yet I find it hard to love others when I see them executing these characteristics. I know, who is NOT selfish? Who is not broken? But I keep forgetting it. We can all come together in our brokenness. I need Jesus in the same way the most selfish person on earth needs Him. I am no different. I did nothing differently to gain His acceptance in the first place. But I still struggle to accept others.

I do believe that God loves me unconditionally, but struggle to believe that God love others also unconditionally. Which means, I fail to see God’s love for what it is. Otherwise, why wouldn’t I love people no matter how they are?

Within me, I have no ability to love. If at all there are any traits of love in me, it’s Him. I am learning this lesson and it’s hard. I am sitting here and trying to generate love towards the people I hate. God is love, but Bino is not love. He loves people, not me. When He loves people through me, it appears as though I am loving, but it’s Him.

I believe any love or act of love which isn’t from God is not love at all. I get frustrated when I can’t love. And I think it’s better not to show love than faking it up. It deceives both parties.

I want to love but sometimes I can't and the resolution I am reaching at is that this occurs when I live outside the truth. Because the truth is that the personification of perfect love lives in me and as I learn to live according to this truth I would be able to exhibit love, even to the difficult people. But it seems too far now.

19 comments:

getting there said...

we all have our short falls Bino.. But trust God to finish the work He has clearly started in you. I have nothing to offer God.. just junk.. and by Grace, He will do His will through you! Bless you bro for being so transparent! it's so cool!

RJW said...

Song of Solomon 1
1 Solomon's Song of Songs.


Beloved
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
for your love is more delightful than wine.
3 Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
your name is like perfume poured out.
No wonder the maidens love you!

4 Take me away with you—let us hurry!
Let the king bring me into his chambers.

~I think what you're are looking for will manifest from you experiencing His love toward and in you. It's OK to rest in His love. All that He produces in us flows from intimate relationship. The core issue of Christianity isn't what we do for God; it's our relationship with God in Christ. And the cool thing is: we don't work on the relationship! He keeps us! He loves us! He graces us! What if we all just lived loved??? I bet the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit will be big enough to fill us and then begin to pour out of us. Remember: He is the Life springing up within us. He is the oil, water, and wine!!

Bino, as a very wise man used to tell us, "Just let Jesus love on you today."

Love you, brother. :)

Terry Rayburn said...

Bino,

1. You wrote, "He loves people, not me. When He loves people through me, it appears as though I am loving, but it’s Him."

I would rethink that statement. I contend it is both you and Him.

Not only does He indwell you, but he has made you a new creation, a new spirit, a new nature.

When you walk by the Spirit (capital "S", the Holy Spirit), you also walk by YOUR spirit (small "s", your new spirit).

1 Cor. 6:17 says, "But the one who joins himself to the Lord is (AF)one spirit with Him."

So when He loves through you, you love too.

Of course this is not in action when we walk by the flesh, which lead me to:

2. It's best to conform inwardly to God's ways "in the Spirit", "in the heart", motivated by a love for Christ and His life expressing itself through oneself.

But it's better for someone to conform outwardly to God's ways than to not conform at all.

For example, it's better for couples to remain married than divorced, all things being equal. Even if they remain married "in the flesh".

Or it's better to refrain from murdering someone, even if the motive is the fleshly thought that one might get arrested and imprisoned.

In other words, there is always a "better" (including the "best" of walking by the Spirit). And by definition, the "better" is better than the "non-better".

Let us not choose the non-better, just because we aren't sure if the "best" is not in full operation.

To paraphrase Augustine, "Love God and his Word as best you can, and do what you think is right".

3. So to apply #2 above, it is better to ACT loving toward someone than to ACT unloving. It is better to be kind to someone, even when we feel otherwise, than to be unkind and hurtful.

What's amazing is how much God uses that "better" action to change our own thinking, resulting in faith that produces the fruit of the Spirit after all.

This is something like what the Bible speaks of when it tells us to "put on" and "put off" (e.g., love). It's spiritual on a level we can hardly articulate sometimes, but it's also practical and God-honoring.

4. Finally,

As we act, understand that any good that we do is of God, through our new spirit indwelled by His Spirit ("what have you received, O man, that you did not receive?"). Not to be proud of.

And any bad that we do is indeed from "the flesh", from the very sin that indwells our members.

"For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh;

"....But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

...."For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,"

(Rom. 7:18a, 20, 22).

Like a Mustard Seed said...

previous comment said... "But it's better for someone to conform outwardly to God's ways than to not conform at all."

Not sure about that one...

I think you're on the right track when you said it's better to not try and fake love. I did that for years, and am still trying to kick those bad habits of doing things because I feel it's what I'm "supposed to do", instead of doing them because they really flow from the depths of my heart (which is what I believe God is really after, don't you think?)

Having said that, there have been times when I said or did things that were downright contrary to the Kingdom, but at the time I justified them, because I was being "real". In those situations I probably should have just kept to myself!

Daniel

Ike said...

Bino, are we to love all people?

Leonard said...

Bino, I really appreciate your honesty, guess it truly is a journey and all about growing in Grace. Thanks for sharing this.

Love ya Bro.

YBFAM
Leonard

Leonard said...

ps.this ones for you.

lionwoman said...

Bino, this post is reflective of my own struggles to love. Of course there are times to simply make a morally decent choice (such as not to kill that self righteous person who drives you nuts). Which is not the same as faking love. I know what you mean. I would rather someone be honest and say "I don't like you and I have trouble loving you" than have them fake it when I know they don't mean it.

RJW said...

Had to add this:

Ephesians 3:17-19 (New International Version)
17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

"Let go of impoverished, circumscribed, and finite perceptions of God. The love of Christ is beyond all knowledge, beyond anything we can intellectualize, or imagine. It is not a mild benevolence but a consuming fire." Brennan Manning

MAN!!! That's good stuff, guys! :)

Gary Kirkham said...

Bino,

There have been some good comments and I guess my thinking is along the lines of RJW. I am convinced of this; we can only love others to the degree that we are convinced of God’s love for us. This isn't an intellectual assent that "God loves me." -> God so loved the world...

It is a personal revelation of His love deep in our hearts. It is a work that He performs. We only love because God first loved us.

We have to be willing to accept that love and have faith in its power to change us, to make us love the "unlovable."

I also agree with Terry, in that it is both Christ and us who are doing the loving. Our spirit has been joined with His Spirit and the two are one.

Our Father works in mysterious ways and He will bring plenty of unlovable people in your path. That may sound like a bad thing, but one day, out of the blue, you will find yourself loving someone you never could have before and it will bring you to your knees in joy and thankfulness. But, until then keep trusting God and realize that you are, loving or not, right in the middle of God's will for you.

I suspect you know all of this, but it doesn’t hurt me to hear it again from time-to-time.


In Christ,
Gary

Bino M. said...

I want to thank you all for sharing great wisdom and encouraging me. It means a lot to me. I wasn't very teachable when religion was driving my thinking but in the past few years I have learned more than a life time and it continues. I am able to love more people than I ever did. And it even surprises me sometimes. This is not to say that there aren't any variations.

There are days I love everyone and there are days I love only a few. There are days I am humble and there are days I am prideful. There are days I am down to earth and there are days I am up in the sky of self-righteousness. It is this inconsistency what drives me frustrated sometimes.

But despite of all this, I am convinced and I am getting convinced a little bit more everyday that God loves me and others as we are!

Again, THANK YOU!

Nicole said...

Hey, Bino! How's it going brother? I miss hearing your thoughts! I want to do better to come by and read more of what you have to contribute to life here on your blog!

I think loving all people is something we are taught to do and it doesn't come naturally. It definitely has been a struggle in my own life and a challenge that I see every day. Though I do believe we are to love everyone, even our enemies, but this kind of love does not come from us, like you said, it comes from Father and he gives us that love to give. I love your thoughts brother for they are similar to mine! Keep asking, searching, knocking, you will find the way Father has for you!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Bino M. said...

Hey Nicole, Thank you for stopping by! And thank you for the encouraging words!

Socoteanu said...

Don't beat yourself up too much, Bino. This is a tough one....I guess that's why Christ summed up the whole purpose of the law in "Love God. Love people."

I struggle with this immensely. I'm doing much better since our church handed out these little plastic bracelet things that say "Love God. Love People."

Bino M. said...

Thanks Socoteanu, for stopping by... I appreciate your encouragement!

Ursula Kuba said...

Hey Bino! Just wanted to say, you are on the right track. I don't have enough love. My friend Shampa, who has an incredible ministry loving the unloveable, and sometimes even seeing the dead raised, shocked me when she said...I don't have enough love. My love has agendas. My love judges. I don't have enough love. This same woman travels throughout the world ministering literally through her hugs.

Its true though. I don't have enough love and my love does have agendas and plans behind it. So I say, Jesus, empty me of my love and fill me with YOUR love. Personally, the way I have experienced it is this. Everyday i say, Jesus fill me with YOUR love. Let me be YOUR love in a dying world. I don't want to give them me. And He fills me. And then that flows out of me without trying, because when I see the unloveable, my unloveables, I see how He sees them. Does that make sense?

Bino M. said...

Ursula,

Yes, it does! I don't want to generate by myself what can come only from God. I believe its a learning process - learning to live in the full knowledge of His for me. I am able to love more people than ever did (while I was religious) and He has filled me with compassion for the needy. But when it comes to loving self-righteous people, I still fail. I get grumpy with them :)

Thank you for encouraging me! Keep growing in His grace!

LovedMuch.com said...

Sorry I missed out on this great conversation. I had a flat tire, lol.

Living loved is such a liberating reality for me. Now on those occasions when I find myself recoiling on the inside because I perceive someone or something to be unlovely / unlovable - it doesn't take me as long as it used to to realize my own need to receive the affectionate love Father is so willing to lavish on me in the area I'm lacking. I'm learning to accept that I can't give what I don't have. We love because He first loved us. I like to think of love being a response to what I see Father doing - not an action He is expecting of me.

"Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that." Eph. 5 (The Message)

"Mostly what God does is love you" ...wow.

Bino M. said...

LovedMuch.com,

Thank you for your encouraging words! And I totally agree.

His love was not cautious

Wow! That's powerful.