Monday, June 25, 2012

"Making the Impossible Possible"

This morning I read an interesting selection in this lovely book I'm reading, "An Extravagant Mercy" by M. Craig Barnes, and want to share it.

Making the Impossible Possible

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all.  I Thessalonians 3:12

Have you ever tried to make yourself love someone?  It's pretty hard.  We prefer to think of love as something magical that happens between people who fall into it -- as if love were a delightful gift for which we are not responsible.  So, loving someone just because we decide to isn't easy.  People who hurt us are particularly hard to love.  It is one thing for the Bible to ask us not to seek revenge on these people, but how can it realistically ask us to love them?  Other people are hard to love because we just don't know them very well.  I've never known what to do when people I've just met smile and say, "I love you."  Frankly, loving people we don't really know seems a little cheap.  Yet Paul has asked us to abound in love for one another and for all.  How do we really love everyone?

It seems impossible, and maybe that is exactly the point.  There is no human way we can love everyone.  Yet with God all things are possible.  He can even change our hearts.  If we want to become more loving, the place to start is not by looking at our relationships but at our God, who is love (see I Jn. 4:8).  He can fill our hearts with so much of his love that it just keeps spilling over into everyone we meet. So maybe we're right.  Maybe love is a delightful gift for which we are not responsible.

1 comment:

  1. Great quote, Diane. Glad to see you back!
    - Tom