I cannot deal with my fellow man according to how they deal with me. I can only deal with them according to how God deals with me.
How has/does God deal with me?
God deals with me in Love.
Therefore, I must deal in love:
The love of mercy
The love of patience
The love of forgiveness
The love of kindness
The love of endurance
The love of temperance
The love of long suffering
The love of selflessness
The love that isn’t envious
The love that isn’t vindictive
The love that isn’t malicious
The love that isn’t rude
The love that isn’t provoked to anger
The love that isn’t proud
The love that doesn’t rejoice in iniquity
The love that sacrifices it’s well being for the sake of another
This Love has to be as natural and as important to us as air is to our lungs.
Think about it.
Do we think about breathing?
We just breathe.
We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
We don’t do the conversion in our heads before we breathe. We don’t control the process.
We simply do what God has given us the ability to do, with the components of the air that He has provided.
We owe it to our bodies staying alive to breathe. In fact, our bodies cannot stay alive if we do not.
Breathing to our physical bodies is natural. What happens when we don’t breathe?
Even when we hold our breath.
We struggle. It gets uncomfortable. Our bodies start to collapse, and ultimately, we die.
As Christians, the act of Love also has to be as natural to our ‘spiritual bodies’ as breathing is to our natural bodies.
If we withhold practicing Love from our spiritual bodies, we will react adversely. The same way our natural bodies react when denied of oxygen.
Likewise, if we withhold Love for a significant amount of time, our spiritual bodies, too, will suffer, and ultimately die.
The death in this aspect is the total and complete severance from the Holy Spirit. To be disconnected from the Holy Spirit is also to be disconnected from Christ. Which then means that we are disconnected from God.
Philippians 2:13 says: “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
It is the Lord who imparts in us, by His Spirit, the desire to obey His will. Therefore, if He causes us to desire it, He also gives us the ability to obey it, and to actually work it out in our active lives.
God’s will for us is simple.
He asks of us one thing, and one thing only:
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
For all of the adjustments to our lives that we try to make, and fail, this commandment, the commandment that Christ gave as the only commandments that we should focus on, is all that we are truly required to do.
The aspects of ourselves that we desire to change, but are powerless to, are God’s responsibility. This, however. It’s commandment of love is OUR responsibility. Hence, it is a commandment to us.
Brethren, it’s one thing if everything that you are reading here makes no sense to you, or if you flat out reject it or disagree with it. If that is the case, then, that’s another matter altogether.
But if the Lord has given it to us to understand the message of the love/charity that is referred to in 1 Corinthians 13, then, He has given it to us, and equipped us that we may work it out.
Work out the practice of Love.
As easily and effortlessly as we breathe, we have to practice Love just as effortlessly.
Deal with everyone, and every situation in/with the requirement of love that is needed.
As we do not and cannot withhold oxygen from our lungs and bodies, as Christians/true believers in the Resurrected Christ, we cannot afford to withhold the natural application of Love in our lives.
That was the very example that Christ came down to show is. To teach us. That we may learn of Him.
The real, practical, possible application of Love.
To love the Lord our God with all that is us, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
This is His commandment.
This is His will.
This is the working out of our salvation.
The working out of our salvation, brethren, is a steady process. It is a building up. But it is also a breaking down.
Christ came down to us. To teach us. To help us. Therefore, when it comes to the working out of our salvation, He does not ask us to start out by “ascending”. He asks us to first “descend”. To descend from the belief that we can do it on our own. We must acknowledge our inability to do it on our own. It is then, in the acknowledgement of our helplessness, that Christ helps us.
Therefore, brethren, if we say that our lives are focused on doing the will of God (a focus that can exist only when He puts it in us), then, we know that His will is that we obey His commandments.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
Now to him who is able to keep us from falling and to present us without blemish before the presence of His glory with rejoicing. To the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever. Amen.
The handmaid at His feet.