Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Princess Unaware Week Five
Royal Relationships 101
We are to love each other as Christ loves us. This kind of love isn't deserved, it is bestowed. This kind of love isn't the warm fuzzy you feel for your family, friends or dog. This kind of love is called Agape. Agape love cares about other people and shows kindness to them (p. 110) This kind of love covers all kinds of relationships; the good and the bad. We don't criticize, compare, or talk down to, we see the person for who they are and care for them anyway. This kind of love doesn't wish the person would get ignored or shunned; it acknowledges and builds up. God loves us and wants what is best for us; we are to do the same for others. Note "what is best for us". This does not mean we have to do everything that everyone wants at all times. Especially if it is enabling that person's sin, we are to then say no. Love listens, love prays for, love lifts up, love helps in time of need, love visits the sick and imprisoned. Love DOES NOT agree with wrong, tear others down, assist in wrong doing, or help someone get out of prison or rehab when they need to be there. I remember thinking that I was a horrible person for not feeling love for very many people. I didn't have the understanding of Agape love. I'm not going to want to hug and "love on" every person in the world. I am called to help and be kind. This does not mean that person has to be my best friend.
Jesus loved all people with Agape love, but he was only friends with a very few people. He was friends with people who were there to help Him fulfill His mission. He was friends with people that built Him up, genuinely cared about Him as a person and wanted to know Him on a deeper level. Do not let others use you, be careful about who you let into your life on that deeper level. We are to love and pray for our enemies and give them what they need when they need it, but we don't have to invite them to our birthday party! Get to know others very well before you call them friend. I read a book about friendship that suggested the same time as dating someone before getting married as to call them your friend rather than acquaintance. In one year you will have seen the good and bad in this person, probably seen how they act in sickness, how they treat others during stressful holiday seasons etc. It also takes time to really get to know someone and have meaningful conversations. I know someone that I have been around for about 9 years. She and I did not become "close" until the last maybe 3-4 years and then have actually grown apart in the last year or so. I don't feel that we ever got on a deep and meaningful level. Some people will not let others on that level. It is closed up behind a brick wall. You cannot force your way over it, but don't give up too quickly either. This person and I may never be BFF's, but I will always love her.
Now here's a fun subject: forgiveness! This one is often confused, and I am guilty of this, with going back to the ways things were (reconcile) and then trusting that person again. This is not always the case. There is a whole lot of work to being reconciled and then trust is more work after that. Some things are so bad that two people will never be reconciled or trust each other ever again, but they can still forgive. In forgiveness we are to "let go" of whatever the bad thing is. That DOES NOT mean saying it is OK, and it does not necessarily mean forgetting about it. Let go means to not hold a grudge or let the incident stew in our minds where we become angry every time we think about it. We are to let it go out of our constant thoughts, and trust that God as the ultimate Judge will take care of the consequences. By holding onto the memory of the offense and getting angry about it, we are only hurting ourselves. The person that offended us doesn't even know we are thinking about them....it doesn't hurt them a bit! This is not easy by any means. God tells us that we have to pray to forgive others just as we are forgiven ourselves, then we have to have our hearts in the right place to really mean it, and God will do the healing. Once we have forgiven the person we can still love them with Agape love.
Romans 12:18 says "so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men". It takes two to be reconciled, but as far as it depends on you be at peace with all men. If the other person does not want to work it out in a healthy and Biblical way, we cannot force them to and we are not responsible for their response. If you have truthfully done all you can, from here on out all you can do is pray for that person.
Trust is another level. If the offense was based on sin or a character flaw, give the person time to repent and or change before trusting them 100%. Trust is not usually instantaneously restored, it takes time and work.
There are unfortunately some relationships that will not survive. One person may never repent or change and may never again be trusted. One person may not wish to be reconciled unless you do everything she wants and to accept 100% fault. This isn't true reconciliation and your "friendship" needs to be reconsidered. BUT, you can still "love" them.
Until Next Time.....