In part one of this blog, I discussed a challenge to join me on this love journey by loving God and loving people. Just because I see something someone is doing poorly doesn’t mean I need to say something because love is blind. In this blog, I would like to discuss how love is blind to faults and clings to what is good. This is an essential part to loving people. Have you ever had someone use words that were harsh? Have you considered why they were saying the things they were to you? Could it be that they love you? They care enough to talk and to share a concern that they may have? Now granted, I realize that most people use words that are foolish and cause a ton of damage because of the way they deliver a truth. But, what if it wasn’t the words we focused so much on, instead the heart? Isn’t it the heart that causes people to say something in the first place?
I remember that when I was young my father was always hard on me. It seemed like he got onto me about everything all the time. It seemed like nothing was ever good enough. It was like I would never gain his approval. I remember so clearly being upset and angry with him for challenging me all the time. He chose to use words that weren’t very effective in communicating his point. He got angry and said things he didn’t mean. All that frustration trying to teach me. All that frustration because he loved me. Wait…. WHAT??? Yes, he loved me and always will. His heart (even if he didn’t know how to communicate it) is saying, “Son, I don’t want you to make this mistake. It will cost you down the road. This is not going to help you become who I know you can be.”
Oh how I wished I could have seen from this perspective when I was in the middle of these learning lessons. I would have been more readily teachable. I would have been eager for instruction. Funny how when we get the right perspective how it changes us. We become willing to hear, learn, and relate with someone we thought was the center of our problems. Really what happens is we are missing the heart of the matter. The heart is trying to communicate through imperfect words, actions, and expressions.
Romans 12:9-10 states “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
I am so grateful for my father. He chose to love me even when I was stuck on stupid. He walked through it all with me. He never pretended to love me. He hated what I did that was not right. I think we all have something to learn about this Scripture. Love is hard when the rubber meets the road. What God is challenging us to do in this is learn to love. You can love a person and still hate what they are doing. But don’t let all that they are doing overshadow your love for them. God reminds us to, “Hold tightly to what is good.” Why? Because if we forget the good things that person does, we will allow the “wrong” to overwhelm the relationship. Then, all we want to do is throw in the towel and write the person off. People are too important for us to give up on them.
When I think about honor, I think about protection. When I honor someone, I protect them. That is not making an “excuse” for them to do the wrong thing (because love won’t let me make excuses), but I am going to pick them up with my words. Many times when someone is doing wrong, we kick them while they are down. I personally am my own worst critic. I see the good, the bad, and the ugly in me. I am harder on myself then most people are on me. This is important to consider because if I am going to “delight” in honoring people, I must realize that I am not here to kick them while they are down to feel better about myself. I am here to help pick them up. Only a person who loves can do that.
Love is blind. It has to be. I think we struggle with this concept because we don’t really love ourselves. The golden rule of course is, “Treat others how you want to be treated”, yet we mistreat people often (even if it is in our thought life). But we get mad when people mistreat us. The challenge on the table is to ask God to teach you how to love. How can you stop pretending to love and really love? How can you love with a genuine affection? How can we honor people better? I know, I know… But we are not the problem, they are. Right? Wrong. This is all about you. This is all about me. Chose to love blindly. This is real freedom. This freedom will stop all the drama and problems that our lives so quickly get stuck in. The answer is love. Help all the people you have problems with by loving them. Love walks with them and doesn’t condemn them. Love says we are going to get through this together. Love says I am not going to leave you like this. Love says I don’t care if it is hard. Love says I have your back. Love says I am not going to mistreat you. Without blind love, no one gets love. Without love, we are miserable. Chose someone this next week to love. Pray for them, go out of your way, and watch what happens.