Sunday Thoughts Link Up #14
1 JOHN 3:16-18
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
We have a phrase in our house, when someone is sad or someone has just thrown something at someone else or someone is feeling left out (with three kids, all of this in inevitable). If I catch that glassy-eyed look that omens tears, I’ll say, “Show them some love” which is the signal for everybody in the room to huddle hug. It’s a free-for-all pile up that usually turns a little too forceful, a scrum-hug, but by then everyone’s forgotten what they were sad about.
When I think about all the things that people are fighting for these days, all the ways people are screaming for freedom, it gets overwhelming. Too many needs from too many corners. Too many sliding scales of what is good and right and what is gray and what is circumstantial. In the end, the only way to play it safe is not to rock the boat…or to put up the right kind of fuss, the socially acceptable fuss. But that doesn’t feel like love to me.
Love has to come with sacrifice. It has to make you feel uncomfortable. It has to require action versus inaction. This is where things get tricky. In this muddled world, how do you know what to stand up for? How do you know where to show the love? The only way I can sort this out is to explain it how I would to my kids, so here it goes:
“Love everybody, because everybody needs it. Give your time to those who need to talk or simply sit. Not everything has to be productive. Give your money to those in need, not just a one-time donation or a church tithe, but continually and in unexpected circumstances. Keep it loose. The tighter you hold it, the harder it will be to share. Give your ear to those who have a different view than you. You can be friends with everybody, because everybody needs friends. And above all else, hold on to your truths, the ones God whispers to you that you know are right and live by them. Put them on every day just like you do your shoes. And then go walk about and see who needs you. Don’t avoid those people and situations that might make you uncomfortable. Instead, dive in, because chances are that’s where the love needs light.”
C.S. Lewis said, in The Weight of Glory, “If you asked twenty good men today what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you had asked almost any of the great Christians of old, he would have replied, Love. You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive.”
We don’t need more freedom to live in our tiny little bubbles and we don’t need to be unselfish. More than anything, we need to be more selfish for others. We need to fight for them. We need to find where they need love and give it lavishly, no matter what. Passivity will keep you safe, but it will also keep you still. When I tell me kids, “show them some love,” the last thing I want that to mean is give more personal space.
It’s time for another Sunday Thoughts Link-Up! Today I’m sending a special thanks to all of those who joined up for the inaugural kickoff last week. It was so great to read everyone else’s heartfelt thoughts on scripture and what it means to live a Godly life. I know there are many out there with wisdom that could encourage all of us. As long as it’s Biblically-based, I’d love for you to join up and then read and comment on what others have shared. Think of this as a Sunday morning community group that comes to you. And grab the button if you like…