“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” NIV
God, How Do I Abide in Your Love?
Dwelling in love as a place
Will a feeling rise
Am I to wait
Are you commanding me to feel loved
In the way you command me to trust in you
God, I met you when I was four. I rejected you even though you flooded me with love and raised my spirit up to life because I thought your love was temporary. How can I go back? You said I can always call on you and you’ll be there, but how do I ask you to love me, still? How do I look at our relationship with joy?
God, you smiled on me. And now I’m grieving because I left. Do you love me that much, still? I’m embarrassed for leaving. I’m intimidated by your love you showed me, it was so much. It changed me. It will change me, again, won’t it?
I’m too scared, simply, to live a life based on the memory relived with fondness, nostalgic about an idea of being loved that’s so steeped in disappointment that I have only have a faint hope in the possibility of your love for other people. My body would continue, so long as I continued to accepted food. But my eyes won’t want to open, weighted down by deep fatigue.
Instead, let your love for me shape my reality.
“Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.”
Simple people believe that evil people deserve evil done to them. However, simple people can’t see the evil in themselves if they think their actions are justified when the person, they have wronged, has done an evil thing, also. When dealing with social struggles where a person has set themselves to frustrate, disgrace, harming your reputation or your property, how you respond will impact how the community judges that person’s action with equally simple perspective. What this means is, reacting to a wrong done against you with a wrong action will only be seen by the community by the evidence that justifies the original, unprovoked wrong action or slander. Even if the community had no previous action to which they can validate the action done against you, if you respond with equal wrong, they will cover the person wronging in you in justification based on this principle and will assume that the person who wronged you was justified, even if there’s no account because that person who wronged you will then have grounds to argue that it would be worse for you if the community becomes knowledgeable about the offense that prompted the wrong done against you, even if there was nothing.
So, when wronged, it is vital to preserving your reputation that you do not retaliate in any way, words or actions; never say your observations about that person’s untrustworthy character because it will all be counted against you and used against you to justify the wrong done to you. I’m not talking about a court of law, but in social standing.
Instead, as soon as you are offended, shorten the leash on your tongue with silence and distance until you can bless that person. And I do mean bless, not into manipulation saying, “Well, if they would have listened to me then they would have been wise.” Or, praying a prayer of manipulation saying, “God, bless this person to know how smart I am so that you can protect them.” But bless them by asking God to tell you what that person needs and bless them in private. Continue your silence in the community until you get to speak with the person who wronged you.
No matter how you move forward, pause and ask God for a good idea. Listen to your instinct’s emotional response, the vengeance, or the pursuit of validation and realize that no one will be benefitted and if you take that advice, your life will get dramatic, quickly, with possibly a series of out-of-control trouble stacking against you. Wait to hear from him. Keep waiting. Do nothing until you hear God’s idea.
And when you hear God’s idea, always ask how that will impact the parties involved because the testing of God’s voice starts with this: he is a peacemaker, a healer, a good counselor, wisdom, and love. And his responses, if it’s really from God will fulfill at least one, but typically all, of these character traits. His response will be pointed and easy to accomplish (ignoring your pride,) easy in the way of physical labor or barriers. When you can imagine how the idea will peacefully grow the parties involved and increase wisdom, should they choose to be changed by the experience, then proceed with that idea. You will be an awe of God’s idea. And you will know that it is superior to your own mind because it won’t entertain your emotional need to be victorious as superior to another person, but instead will honor you as a humble receiver of God’s instruction and will totally do right by you.
When all the drama is quieted and you look wise and kind in your community, your heart will be swollen with affection for God that he got you out of a situation, that he honored you by letting you look wise, and you will likely learn more about that person and why God loves the person who failed you. Then you will be overjoyed to be one who is taken care of by God’s voice and overjoyed to grow nearer to God having found him to be trustworthy, and overjoyed for a future with hope blossoming in your heart for things going well by God’s presence in your life to secure good things for you when he brings them.
No one is nearer to God than another person. Don’t think you are disqualified from the Holy Spirit’s voice and instruction and help for the reason that you’ve never asked for it before. God is as near to you as he is to one who has been leaning on his voice all their life. God is not just near to you in proximity. He is not just near enough that he’s ever-aware of your every thought, but he is also eager for you to want him. He made you with his want in mind. And he wants to help you as a generous father. His inclination to you is to be the best father you’ve ever known. Just because we, as human beings, are bestowed the right to be tempted by evil for years and years until we’re tired enough to want to choose good or evil, for whatever reason I can’t imagine choosing evil since it has zero benefits for the sake that it always steals and destroys and owns nothing so it can give nothing and makes people work for the promises and rewards but never secures them so that anything gained is gone or broken in a day (evil is a waste of our royal energy,) we humans get to sin but then choose God. That’s how much he loves us.
It doesn’t make sense within the principle of evil people deserve evil. But it makes perfect sense when we realize that God is good and his ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts and because he is good he sends rain on the wicked and the righteous and because he is good he leaves the gate open for us, so that when we return to the house, although the door is locked for the night and everyone is asleep in bed, God will hear our knocks and listen to our requests. We know that an evil man would listen to persistence and give way to the request of the persistent, but God loves us like a father watching on the horizon for our return. He is in earnest of our want of him. And is near to us in spirit, near enough that our knocking sounds like a sentence, “God, I’m ready to make my choice so that my season of temptation can cease. I choose to go with you and, no matter what I lose, if I’m going to lose gold or houses or family or friends, if I can have peace in my existence forever, than I will serve you and receive your instruction. Your instruction has always benefited me, more than I could think to manage to give myself. I’m not smart like you. And I feel embarrassed by that, but if you won’t mock me, and your scriptures say you hate mockery, so I’m hoping in you being consistent with who you say you are and consistent with behaving in the way you boast you can, then I will trust you with my life and ultimately, my soul.”