Saturday, February 20, 2016

Learning from the best...

If you have ever had any type of a "problem" with another individual in life, this one's for you.  Sometimes it is just easier than others to connect with an individual.  Let's be truthful - relationships are not always the easiest things to get right in this lifetime!  We think we make inroads into relationships, then someone does something which disappoints us or doesn't live up to some expectation we have set - then things between us are just strained, awkward, and a little less than "great".  Love is something modeled and learned because we have good role models, not because we have good words or solid advice in books.  Love isn't learned in isolation, either - we have to be around others long enough, frequently enough, and with enough commitment to actually learn what it is to love. Therefore, if we humans are to learn to love, we need solid examples and a lot of practice with the subject!

For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. (John 3:16 VOICE)

We love because He has first loved us. (I John 4:19 VOICE)

Our first example is none other than God himself.  His example of love is that of sacrificial giving - not out of obligation or merit, but because it is who he is at the core of his being.  Each of us falls short of this type of love - we aren't all that "no strings attached" at the very core of our being. In fact, if we get painfully truthful here, we are probably a whole lot more "strings attached" than we'd like to admit.  He is a "give first" God - not waiting for someone to do something which "deserves" his love, but giving even when there is no one deserving of it!  

The second example set by God is that of giving what someone has need of - the recipient of his love isn't given some superficial expression of his love - that individual is given EXACTLY what they need, in EXACTLY the way they need it, at EXACTLY the time they need it.  His love connects with a specific need in each of our hearts - in varying ways, at just the right time, in total sufficiency to meet that need.  What a positive example of love - connecting with the need of another and meeting that need fully.

If we look close enough, we see a third example of God's love. He isn't afraid to initiate love.  He expresses his love in ways we can connect with it - by the means we come to appreciate and understand it little by little.  He reaches out to us - not waiting for us to reach out to him, but taking the first step, the second, the third, and so on until we begin to sense it. He doesn't let up - but keeps initiating these steps of love until we latch hold of the fact he loves us with a love so immeasurable we cannot totally fathom its depth, width, breadth, or tenacity!

Three characteristics modeled for us.  One pretty solid example we can consistently count on to "re-model" those behaviors over and over until we learn from them.  He brings us into opportunities galore where have the privilege of modeling these behaviors in our own lives.  Loving someone who is maybe not being all that "deserving" of our love at the moment.  Lovingly meeting a need - even those which remain buried and unspoken.  Taking action even before being told, giving even before the need has been spoken, reaching out when someone really doesn't know they even need a hand yet. These are expressions of God's love "re-modeled" in our lives, learned at his feet, and capable of being "re-modeled" in the lives of another. 

Let us remember this - we love only because he first modeled love for us.  We love only because we learned from the best! Just sayin!