Sunday, December 22, 2013

How to love unconditionally and be loved unconditionally


Be a Love-Spreader
   The world is starved for love. It doesn’t take a survey or a study to figure out that a root cause of many social ills is a lack of genuine love. For those who do not know the love of God, the empty space in their hearts gnaws at them continually, regardless of whether they consciously acknowledge this void…
   With a Savior and Friend who attends to every need and covers your life with His promise of eternal care, you have His unlimited resources at your disposal. In difficult circumstances, under stress, in times of confusion, you have a relationship with the one with the answers and the strength to see you through. Now you have the opportunity to share this love with others…
   Before you really can be an effective love-giver, however, you must learn to love yourself properly. How you treat others depends in large part on how you love yourself…
   “And a second [command] is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
   Jesus is talking about treating others with the same respect and concern you naturally give yourself. If you have a low self-esteem, devaluing your worth in God’s eyes or paralyzed by a sense of inadequacy, then you are not equipped to reach out to someone else. You are a needy person yourself, and your interactions with others often become attempts to fill your own wants rather than satisfying theirs. You run the very real rish of becoming a “user,” perhaps even without knowing it.
   The best treatment for a low self-esteem,…is to supply your thinking with truth about your “Jesus-esteem.” Find verses in the Bible that reaffirm your value in His eyes and memorize them. (Psalm 139, Mathew 10:29-31, and 1 Samuel 16:7 provide a good start.)…
   Let the Lord pour His love through you. Being the vessel in His capable hands relieve you of countless stressful burdens He never intended for you to carry…
v  Love is not a feeling or passing emotion-it’s a commitment.
v  Love is an affirmation of belonging, competence, and worth.
v  Love continues to care, even when it is rejected or ignored.
   …And you’re right-nobody can love this way on his own…That is why you need to rely on the Holy Spirit to administer God’s love through you. He enables you to go beyond what you want or desire to treat others soleyly for their good.
   What is the meaning of life? It’s exactly what Jesus said it is-receiving the love of God and allowing him to use you to give it to someone else. (Galatians 5:6)

The Spiritual Foundations Series, The Love of God by Dr. Charles Stanley



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