Don’t just pretend to love others

I was just going to work on my photograph and place a Scripture to it and then vacuum the house. That was MY plan for this morning. THEN my husband and I checked in with the great I AM at breakfast. As I read this blessed piece of Scripture,  tears ran down my cheeks and off my nose.  I needed to get a tissue.

9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection,[a] and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.[b]12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”[c]
says the LORD.

20 Instead,

“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”[d]

21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.    ~ Romans 12:9-21 (NLT)

This is the third day of Lent. I am focusing on Christ’s journey to the Cross and my journey with Him as I live this life. My, how He is speaking to me! This morning I sent an e-mail to someone offering them my help with a project they were the head of. You may be thinking, “How noble of you, giving of your time and all.” I wish. Actually this person works at a place that has CPR programs and I was hoping maybe if I help her, I could get my CPR certification in return. ARGH! Here I am, Pirate Nurse seeing what booty I can glean from a favor. I think that also qualifies me as a clashing cymbal, AGAIN! Double ARGH!!!

My son got this bag for me for Christmas. It has the attributes from Philippians 4:8 on the front of it (to inspired its carrier). The second attribute is noble. Only because of the grace of God can I carry this bag. I have no nobility in me separate from Jesus. He has to be my all for I am truly nothing. If the CPR trade “thing” were an isolated incident, I may be able to slough it off and go along my merry way, but I was brought up short yesterday, too, and the day before. Either God is with me, closer than a brother, or I am paranoid. I do not accept paranoia so Jesus being quite close is the correct answer. I am the sheep in His arms (you know, the one needing rescued).

Anyway, about yesterday…on Ash Wednesday a message was left on my answering machine by a woman I worked with on a medical-surgical floor in the 1980’s. She was just checking in to see how I was doing. I listened to her message and thought how nice that was, but I hate to talk on the phone so I didn’t call her back. Ann’s blog on Thursday (http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/02/4-ways-to-be-a-better-friend/) was about friendship and how she had not returned a friend’s call and now they were no longer friends. In a way that only Ann Voskamp can do, through the gift of writing and the spirit of humility and transparency that God has given her, she convicted me of my failings in the area of friendship. I immediately returned my friend’s call. What a blessed reunion we had!

This morning reading Craig’s love devotional he challenged us to love by doing something for some one who could not do anything for us in return. I have a whole day ahead of me. Let’s see if I can actually do this–setting all ulterior motives aside. Actually, let’s see how I can do all weekend. I will report back in my thank you list on Monday. Will you come back? I need you to hold me accountable.

Just a lost sheep with an awesome Shepherd,

Dawn

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8 comments on “Don’t just pretend to love others

  1. Love your honesty and vulnerability, Dawn. I have to confess I am not much for talking on the phone either and often will take some time to return calls. Happy to hear you had such a sweet connection with your old friend.

    • Dear Andrea Dawn,

      I love you for admitting you don’t like to talk on the phone either. It is such a “petty” thing, but most unpleasant to me. I have to reframe it somehow, but I just don’t seem to be able to get a suitable frame for it yet.

      The sun is shining here even though we had big snowflakes falling this morning. Nothing white on the ground, but it was gloriously “merry” twirling from the sky. Reading Susan’s comment below I think they all landed at her house.

      Have a fun day putting the finishing touches on your scanvenger hunt,
      Dawn

  2. This is such good stuff for Lent, for moving closer to HIm (and to His cross!) Romans 12 is a great challenge chapter.

    That post of Ann’s was very timely for me, too, in reconnecting with a friend, which happened the next day (yesterday), and was so warm and sweet!

    God bless you in carrying out your challenge.

    • Dear Sylvia,

      I want to link you to this as “icing on the cake”. Susan sent it to me and I played it over and over as I cleaned the kitchen this morning.

      So much my favorite hymn and the words are there so you can sing along!
      Dawn

  3. God is so much in the business of bringing His lost sheep home… oh how we are prone to wander! Your set of verses from Romans I will past on top of your shared post when I share this post on Facebook. I know many of my friends will be encouraged to ‘walk with Him always’ !
    And when it comes to tradeoffs, I can see that trading our wanderings for His amazing Word to hide in our hearts is the perfect one. May He alway show us what is best for us and for those around us, that we might bring glory to His name. I am sure your Saturday will be blessed as you look to be a blessing where perhaps it is not able to be repaid.
    lots of love from the land where a foot of whitestuff fell again overnight 🙂 I am out to do some major shovelling!

    • Isn’t that just the best Scripture?! especially in the New Living Translation. It translated me right into His everlasting arms.

      Last night I just happened by the state civil service page to see if they graded my exam. I am trying for a state health job. It has been almost 2 months since I took the exam, but I had heard nothing. They are supposed to grade exams in 5 days, but due to lack of funds they were down a lot of clerks and graders so they were “backloaded”.

      Last night I screeched with joy when I saw I had gotten a 96%! That will really help me when openings in the state dept of health come up. There is one person who has a higher score than I do so I’m praying they don’t want the same positions I want. We shall see….

      I hope you have your avalanche gear on, O Shoveling One!
      Dawn

  4. Eager to see how God works this out in you! Thank you for reminding me of this truth. It’s become too easy for me to find faults (in my enemies) and justify passing up phone calls from friends (yet I have time for the internet).

    Be blessed today,
    Cristal

  5. Dear Cristal,

    The whole internet “thing” is so suited to me. I get to think before I respond. I get to edit. I get to research to make sure, etc. etc. All this the phone does not let me do. I can’t say I am ever sure of anything so I’m always hesitant and so I can’t respond and so, on the phone, there is dead space. Dead space is a killer on the phone. I am just not good on the phone.

    Thanks for letting me work through this with you. I am discovering explicitly why I don’t like talking on the phone. It’s enlightening. Thanks for dropping by. One never knows when the light will come on. I think it just did. Now I must go hunting for the proverbial frame to fit this reframing process, BUT NOW I must drive the husband to church. He’s the minister!

    Hugs,
    Dawn

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