Living on the edge
Every day I read of so many these days who live on the edge. Anger is wound up on a spring, ready to snap. Sadness, loneliness, depression, despair… spills out onto other people, in unwanted ways.
How do I steer away from streaming that from my soul?
Living Set Apart to Jesus
I’d like to live daily with gentleness and respect for others. Like Peter said:
1 Peter 3:15
15 …in your hearts set Christ apart
[as holy—acknowledging Him,
giving Him first place in your lives]
Always be ready
to give a [logical] defense
to anyone who asks you to account
for the hope
and confident assurance
[elicited by faith]
that is within you,
[do it] with gentleness and respect.
Hope and confident assurance
If I want to be gentle and respectful towards others – I must be careful to start each day with Christ in first place. The Lord is my Shepherd. He gives me His care and His love and His forgiveness – all day long.
With Him in first place, I am filled up with “hope and confident assurance” (1 Peter 3:15) throughout my whole day — as I put my faith in Him.
Hope and confident assurance deep in my soul — is “[elicited by faith]”. If my faith is empty, then my hope is fleeting, and that “assurance” is gone, and I’m unsteady.
Faith in myself equals wrong responses. Faith in Him… I keep my eyes on Jesus. I choose to act in love towards all peoples.
Self-centered “faith” = Wrong responses
I can respond in love towards the unlovely, the rude, the “unloveable” around me – when I start each day acknowledging that Jesus saved this sinner, me. And He will empower me moment by moment, through His Spirit, to initiate acts of love. Since love is not a feeling, I aim to intentionally act in love towards other sinners.
intentionally act in love
towards other sinners
My “filling station” is prayer to God. Filled up full with His “hope and confident assurance“, I can reach outside of myself – and choose to act in love. Love is a choice, not a feeling.
So, if I wait to feel loving toward another puny human, well, what do you think?
It takes a lot o’ love to love some folks. No love inside me, then no gentleness comes out onto others, no respect is shown to that annoying perp. Quite the opposite.
Standing in line at the crowded grocers, impatience welling-up, I pray, and I’m filled-up again. Belittled by a small, spiteful soul, I yeild to Jesus and respond in love. Perhaps she will come to Jesus some day.
Learn to rely on the Spirit. Now, because I am His, I am truly an eternal child of the King of Kings. And because that is true, it behooves me now to live as what I am — an eternal Child of the King. I move and live with confidence in Him. It’s a learning process. I learn daily. I learn to rely on the Spirit of God inside me, more and more, as I read in His Word what He has said about “being Christian“.
– Source: Rely on the Spirit of God in you
Almighty God, Jesus the Messiah, loved to the extreme of willfully putting Himself in danger, into horrendous whipping. Out of love for puny humans, He took on the brutality of dying on a cruel, cruel Roman cross. That is loving. He chose that.
I am thinking, some day I may need to do that myself: willingly take on some brutality against my body, not resist evil against me, willingly put myself in danger, for Christ, or for some puny human. It will be for Christ, and Christ alone. And I can do that — if I’m full-up.
2 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [a]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].
I’m getting older now. I want to finish my race well, strong – complete the journey with a flourish!
Not: cranky. Strong: positive, forgiving, acting in love (loving with actions of love).
“Love one another as I have loved you.”
Do something. Don’t wait for “feeling like it”. Act on my faith.
The love of 1 Corinthians 13 is NOT a feeling.
This is me in action when I’m full-up: (edited quote)
or “thinketh no evil” (KJV)
I like this version of Paul’s message, in The Message
“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,
or “Keeps no record of wrong” (another version)
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.”