It goes without saying the attitude of some these days isn't really all that loving or kind. I am mortified by the behavior of those who stormed our capital building this week. Horrified by the destructiveness of those who had a right to peaceful protest, but who went too far taking it to a level of violence, destructiveness of property, and the breaching of the chambers of our government's law-makers. There was absolutely no need for that level of destructiveness we observed, having made a mess of our capital building and destroying the media's equipment. To quote many of my peers, "What is our country coming to?" Here is something to consider - begin to watch what God does, then do it! Learn proper behavior from our Lord and Savior. Do this and we will all enjoy a better life, my friends.
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (Ephesians 5:1-2)
I'd like to say that 'mostly what I do' is love like God loves, but there are days when my behavior is probably not as loving as it should be. I'd also like to think I am keeping company with him often enough and long enough that I am actually learning of him and from him. It is in 'keeping company' with him that we learn a life of love. Let me assure you of this - our country needs us to spend time with Jesus, my friends. We need to learn all we can about his love and how to share that extravagant love with each other. I like that his love isn't 'cautious' or 'stingy' - it is out there, in your business, and changing your business each and every day! I need my 'business' changed - how about you?
He didn't love in order to get - he loved in order to give. This is the example he sets for us to pattern our behavior after - to love in such a way that we are giving, not always demanding or taking. Love in order to give - how do we make this practical in our daily lives? It is a little harder than we might think because we have a 'bent' toward getting what we want when we want it. I will be the first to admit, I have a selfish bent in life. I didn't have to learn it, it came naturally by just being born! What didn't come naturally to me was this desire to see others blessed, honored, treated with respect. Those were learned behaviors - learned first at the feet of my parents and then at the feet of Jesus.
How do we develop this 'giving' heart - the heart that gracefully steps aside when God shows us a better way to do things? How do we develop this 'giving' heart - the heart that isn't shut off to the needs we see around us, but that gives of both time and talent to meet those needs? How do we develop this 'giving' heart? We listen more, talk less. We trust more, doubt less. We bring more, take less. Did you catch the theme there? It is a 'more' and 'less' thing we are talking about here. We put down behaviors that are based in selfishness and self-indulgence, and we put on behaviors that are based in love. Just sayin!