What does love mean to me?

The Daily Post sent this topic suggestion on August 5 which I knew I wanted to blog about as soon as I saw it.

Unfortunately, that thought became a quick note on a scrap of paper which then had to be found, deciphered, memory jogged, thoughts organized…well you get the drift…..

I have been reading a book entitled  Sandpaper People by Mary Southerland and been thinking and pondering on this verse for over a month now:

Isaiah 43:4

“Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.”

They are powerful love words.  Think about God saying that to you:

You are precious.  Your are valued and honored to me.  I love you.  I care for you so much that I would give up other people for you, that’s how much I love you.

Makes you feel good inside to feel loved.  When we love others it can be easy to feel and show love.  We are asked to “love our neighbor as ourselves”.  Ah, now sometimes that can be a little harder.  Particularly when your feelings are hurt.

Part of loving people is accepting them “just as they are”.   I know I want to be loved “just as I am”.

Back to the verse:

“Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.”

Love to me means taking the “you” and replacing it with the name of “someone else”.

Sometimes that can be easy.   Sometimes that is can be soooo hard.

Think about it.

Stop right now and re-read that verse below and put in the name of the person that you might be angry mildly annoyed with, put in the image of the person today who irritated you while you were driving, put in the face of the rude sales person, or remember it applies to you and me when, quite frankly we have been a pain in the butt.

Replace that “blank line” with the name of someone I love, I like, I enjoy, someone I’m feeling good about – easy.  Replace that “blank line” with the name of someone who has hurt me, or someone I encounter during the day that I find abrasive, or as Mary calls “sandpaper” – that makes it a little harder.

And, being honest here, sometimes the ones I love, like and enjoy I have to consciously make a choice to put their name there when they’ve hurt my feelings.

Since _________ are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love ________, I will give men in exchange for ___________, and people in exchange for ___________ life.

So, how did you do?

It isn’t always easy is it?

I have to remind myself that I am always screwing up.  I’m always making mistakes.  That is our human nature.  So usually, when it can be hard for me to put someone’s name in that blank line, I’m usually reminded of my shortcomings.  My mental conversation usually ends up with the “duh” moment for me of “oh, okay I’m like that too in such and such” (confession), seeking His forgiveness, and then giving forgiveness.  And, having total disclosure here, sometimes that takes me awhile, depending on the size of my hurt.  Sometimes my past hurts come back to haunt me and I have to go through the process all over again.  Sigh.

Forgiveness isn’t a feeling; it is a choice.  A choice between God and us.

God’s greatest gift and our deepest need is forgiveness.

We usually stop forgiving when we run out of patience, however, there should be no limits to our forgiveness, because there are no limits to the forgiveness of God.  We can stop forgiving when we run out of His forgiveness.

“God made you alive in Christ.  He forgave all our sins.  He canceled the record that contained the charges against us.  He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross”

Colossians 2:13-14

Love.  Forgiveness given freely as a gift on the cross.  A choice.

Love.

And, in God’s great sense of humor, during the whole lengthy time it took for me to post, leave it sit in blog draft mode for edit, He reminded me that I neglect to read that verse and put my own name there sometimes.  I mean I read the word “you” and don’t even think about me sometimes.  Talk about a “duh”.

At my Women’s Group we have visualized the conversations and humorous expressions that Jesus may have with us over some of the “duh” moments one day.  Of course they are all delivered in a loving way.

Keep reminding me Lord.

Yeah, that’s what loves means to me.  🙂

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2 thoughts on “What does love mean to me?

  1. Denise, That was fantastic..it is what we all need to hear and need to know.
    Maybe somebody reading this will find comfort and knowledge in what you have written and that it will change their life in so many ways.

    Praise the Lord

    My love to you all working so hard with your special people…I think it is time for an update!!

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