What makes love hard.

Christian ethics and theology with an Anabaptist perspective
Sudsy
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What makes love hard.

Postby Sudsy » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:02 pm

Perhaps looking at love for God and love for one another are two threads in themselves but feel free to respond to either or both.

Love for God - does our love for God have everything to do with knowing God in a very personal way ? What is there about God that causes us to love God ?

Love for one another - I posit that love for one another can only be achieved through the reliance on the Holy Spirit to transform the way we view each other.

My going in position is that love is only hard if we don't see what is loveable in God and others. Get our minds transformed and love comes easy.

Everyone welcome to participate if this kind of thread interests you.
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JimFoxvog
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Re: What makes love hard.

Postby JimFoxvog » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:53 am

What makes love hard is people mistreating you. God can give us the grace, but it surely takes that supernatural power sometimes.
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Bootstrap
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Re: What makes love hard.

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:47 am

JimFoxvog wrote:What makes love hard is people mistreating you. God can give us the grace, but it surely takes that supernatural power sometimes.


But it can be hard when people are not mistreating you too. I remember when I was contracting on very demanding jobs, my wife was a stay-at-home mom, I would work long hours and we had small children. When the baby wakes up in the middle of the night - again - and needs attention, and you are both exhausted, who does that? Making that choice is hard, and functioning the next day is hard.

And how do you communicate about that if one of you has a very direct communication style and the other doesn't like to make explicit requests? Some people - often women - have the feeling that if you really loved them, they wouldn't have to ask, you would just know. Other people - often men - have the feeling that you should tell people what you want and need, because how is anyone going to figure it out if you don't?

And love is also hard because we are worried about being judged by others, and very concerned about what they might think of us. If I cook a meal, I'm often looking forward to everyone enjoying it, and not every meal I cook turns out well. Like ... a few days ago when I cooked an Indian meal that was rather a disaster, and I really felt like I had failed my wife. Yes, that's ridiculously oversensitive, and my wife was not judging me at all, but I felt judged and like a failure. By the end of the meal it was fine, but in loving relationships, we have to tend to the ridiculously irrational feelings people like me have.

... without losing the pursuit of what is true and good, using biblical standards.

... while still making room for people to be unique in the way that God chose to make them.
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Is it biblical? Is it Christlike? Is it loving? Is it true? How can I find out?

Sudsy
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Re: What makes love hard.

Postby Sudsy » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:36 pm

JimFoxvog wrote:What makes love hard is people mistreating you. God can give us the grace, but it surely takes that supernatural power sometimes.


Amen. So, what does the bible give as the solution to being mistreated ? Look at what it says in Romans - “Do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to God’s wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord… if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” - (Romans 12:19-21).

Now, if that is not radical, I don't know what is. What might be a practical example right here on this forum. Suppose someone posts something in a way that we feel is mistreatment to us. How should we respond ? According to this verse, we respond with treating them good. If it sounds like they need to be encouraged, encourage them in the Lord. If it sounds that they need to be kinder, respond to them in kindness. Perhaps when we feel mistreated, the first thing to do is ask God to guide us through His Spirit in how to respond. Be willing to humble ourselves to not only accept mistreatment but to go out of our way to treat the mistreater with blessing.

What did Jesus say ? Luke 6 27-37

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

Now I don't know about you but I am not inclined that way in my fleshly nature. Without being constantly under the control of the Holy Spirit, this ain't gonna happen. Even today I failed miserably. Why ? Because I gave way to the flesh and not the control of the Spirit.

So, what are some tips others here can share about how they are able to do what Jesus commands us to do here ? Or maybe you don't agree it is a matter of coming under the Spirit's control by on-going fillings ?
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MaxPC
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Re: What makes love hard.

Postby MaxPC » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:57 am

Sudsy wrote:My going in position is that love is only hard if we don't see what is loveable in God and others. Get our minds transformed and love comes easy.

Everyone welcome to participate if this kind of thread interests you.

In my lifetime of observation and self-examination, my answer can be boiled down to one word: Pride.

Pride in one's identity can lead to wars and competitions. In excess it can lead to narcissism and inordinate love of self and one's accomplishments, whether it's an athlete, an inventor, or other walk of life. Pride in self and one's accomplishments creates a hard veneer that doesn't allow love inside or for live to be expressed.

Pride in controlling everything in one's life. Children and their adventures alone put the kaibosh on that, not to mention a spouse and his/her needs. Putting God in control is the antithesis of this and the anxiety about the unknown gets in the way of love which leads to trust in God.

Humility is a virtue that's preached upon in both the Bible and the writings of our teachers in the discipleship walk.

Humility as virtue is the polar opposite of Pride which we call a mortal sin. Humility makes it possible to love completely.

My 5 cents. :D
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silentreader
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Re: What makes love hard.

Postby silentreader » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:25 am

MaxPC wrote:
Sudsy wrote:My going in position is that love is only hard if we don't see what is loveable in God and others. Get our minds transformed and love comes easy.

Everyone welcome to participate if this kind of thread interests you.

In my lifetime of observation and self-examination, my answer can be boiled down to one word: Pride.

Pride in one's identity can lead to wars and competitions. In excess it can lead to narcissism and inordinate love of self and one's accomplishments, whether it's an athlete, an inventor, or other walk of life. Pride in self and one's accomplishments creates a hard veneer that doesn't allow love inside or for live to be expressed.

Pride in controlling everything in one's life. Children and their adventures alone put the kaibosh on that, not to mention a spouse and his/her needs. Putting God in control is the antithesis of this and the anxiety about the unknown gets in the way of love which leads to trust in God.

Humility is a virtue that's preached upon in both the Bible and the writings of our teachers in the discipleship walk.

Humility as virtue is the polar opposite of Pride which we call a mortal sin. Humility makes it possible to love completely.

My 5 cents. :D


Pride can also produce an unwillingness to let others in the church 'judge' us in our practices.
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steve-in-kville
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Re: What makes love hard.

Postby steve-in-kville » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:07 am

JimFoxvog wrote:What makes love hard is people mistreating you. God can give us the grace, but it surely takes that supernatural power sometimes.


A saying I heard not too long ago: Hurt people hurt other people.
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Sudsy
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Re: What makes love hard.

Postby Sudsy » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:51 pm

MaxPC wrote:
Sudsy wrote:My going in position is that love is only hard if we don't see what is loveable in God and others. Get our minds transformed and love comes easy.

Everyone welcome to participate if this kind of thread interests you.

In my lifetime of observation and self-examination, my answer can be boiled down to one word: Pride.

Pride in one's identity can lead to wars and competitions. In excess it can lead to narcissism and inordinate love of self and one's accomplishments, whether it's an athlete, an inventor, or other walk of life. Pride in self and one's accomplishments creates a hard veneer that doesn't allow love inside or for live to be expressed.

Pride in controlling everything in one's life. Children and their adventures alone put the kaibosh on that, not to mention a spouse and his/her needs. Putting God in control is the antithesis of this and the anxiety about the unknown gets in the way of love which leads to trust in God.

Humility is a virtue that's preached upon in both the Bible and the writings of our teachers in the discipleship walk.

Humility as virtue is the polar opposite of Pride which we call a mortal sin. Humility makes it possible to love completely.

My 5 cents. :D


“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I wonder just how many of us would say pride is the biggest or at least one of the bigger struggles we have in following the Lord and experiencing His power in us. For me, Max, you hit on a biggee if not, the biggest. (could be my pride is holding me back from admitting it is :) )

Looking at James 4 we read the quote - “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” So, to have God's grace I must humble myself (my part) and without God's grace I'm incapable of loving others in a Jesus kind of love. I can stop receiving God's enabling grace if I hold unto my pride. Pretty serious business.

Perhaps we need to explore pride more in a separate thread ?
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Sudsy
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Re: What makes love hard.

Postby Sudsy » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:53 pm

silentreader wrote:Pride can also produce an unwillingness to let others in the church 'judge' us in our practices.


True and pride could be what is really behind those judging our practises.
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Sudsy
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Re: What makes love hard.

Postby Sudsy » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:57 pm

steve-in-kville wrote:
JimFoxvog wrote:What makes love hard is people mistreating you. God can give us the grace, but it surely takes that supernatural power sometimes.


A saying I heard not too long ago: Hurt people hurt other people.


That is a good one to remember. Not so hard to take a hurting comment when we look at this possibility.
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