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Live to love, love to live

by davesandel on January 5th, 2017

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Live to love, love to live

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Eleventh Day of Christmas

1 John 3:14-20

Brothers and sisters, do not be amazed if the world hates you.  We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers.  Whoever does not love remains in death, and everyone who hates his brother is a murderer… God is greater than our hearts and knows everything. 

In fact as Jeremiah says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.  Who can understand it?”

Adam did not answer God’s simple question in the Garden.  Instead he turned toward Eve.  “She made me do it.”  Wikipedia defines psychological projection as heart behavior “in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.”

Once more we settle for the wrong tree.  Knowledge of good and evil insists that we explain and fix blame.  Eating from the tree of life allows us to simply say, as Jesus did, “Then neither do I condemn you (or myself. Let us) go and sin no more.”

But I am sorely tempted to hate haters.  When someone else honks hard and long in a traffic jam, I judge him.  Bad!  All around me there are angry eyes, sharp elbows, selfish motives – and since I’m a people-watcher I see lots of ugly.  So often my heart fails me.  I don’t love.  I murder.  I pass back from life to death.

I become like the one I hate.

But thank God, He is greater than my heart.  God does not watch me with judgment, but knows instead how much He loves me.  He does not wait for me to love before loving me.

I am not ugly to God, even when I do ugly things.  Neither is anyone else!  “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our sisters and our brothers.”  God shows us how to hate the sin but love the sinner.  That is not something I do well on my own, but I can watch God treat me that way and learn how from him.

Lord, over and over I am learning to say in the moment of my judgment, “Help me, Jesus.”  Let me love like you do.  I am not ugly and neither is anyone else.  We are all fearfully and wonderfully made, and you love us to pieces, every single one of us.  Thank you.  We are all one river, all one sea.  You flow through him, and you flow through me.

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