I often talk with ladies that I meet about how I could have been Satan's perfect prototype.
I imagine he assembled himself and his guys all together in hell around a big business table and began a meeting about the perfect type of a woman to get good and stumped in life and when he shot up the picture on power point (since Satan is the inventor of all things technotronic, right? Kidding...too much time in the Bible Belt!) up popped a picture of Charity!
"She's perfect. Totally gullible...Easy to convince and even more to make afraid. Look how much she cares about herself and what people think of her! She's got to always fit in, be needed and to feel wanted by the people around her. She likes beautiful, emotional things...So we'll lie to her and tell her what is ugly is attractive...What is twisted is straight..What is bondage is freedom. Oh, *snickering* and it won't be hard! If it seems easier to believe, then she'll fall right for it! She wants proof, statistics, evidence. She's just lazy that way. I imagine with enough magazine articles and romantic, seductive movies along with her natural lack of discretion and selfishness...She'll be doing some damage for us in no time!"
I try to be silly when I say it, but it's so true.
Even today as I woke up, I had a conversation with God about how much I don't like doing things His way! I walked over and plopped on the couch, flipping through the channels for the weather and came across an old show I loved in the middle of a great, romantic part and I got teary. "See God..THAT seems like love!" Look how good they both seem to feel about each other! I'm sure they've got those butterfly thingys ALL THE TIME, right?
Your love, God, is hard work! It means that I may never have my way and I have to be glad about that...ick! It plays out like I shouldn't strive for acknowledgement but invisibility while regarding another...Yuck! It's unconditional no matter how I'm mistreated or misunderstood. Marriage Your way is all about making me holy more than happy. It's a loving covenant brought about by vows that are to be honored without room for escape or divorce-Hosea style.
No one would make a TV show about that!
And it's not just true love in marriage but also with my friends. God wants me to put their hurts and needs above my own? He wants me to share them with as many people possible because true love is not exclusive-It's generous. But, how does that make me feel special? (See, Satan was onto me!)
And then my children. Why can't I listen to Oprah when she tells me that I need to take a sabbatical from them?? I'm tired and their loving response for my hard work for them is just now starting to surface in little amounts as they grow. It doesn't seem fair. I want a hot meal...I want a full nights sleep...I want a mom's night out. I want a break from having to be their ideal role model. Love is not self-seeking...It seeks after the needs of others-especially the "least".
And my neighbors? I mean, I hardly know them but because I run into them on the street or at the grocery store or any other part of my life that includes a stranger standing beside me...I'm suppose to love them like I love myself? Do you know, God, how much I love myself?? That's like an all day obligation!
It's humbling to admit that I really do think those things sometimes. The great deceiver has duped me and as alluring as he has made "loving" seem his way..It's actually hate. And even more so, as confusing as loving God's way may appear, He is the original author of love, thus with faith in action, I can embrace His definition. His love promises great returns.
I want those who have meant the most to me in this life to really feel they have been truly "loved" by me. I get now that that is an act of God and the only way I can play it out is with His help...because if left on my own with my human understanding-
I'm just a girl on Satan's power point.
And that's no good.
1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)
The Way of Love
1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.
13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.