I hope that when people get to know me that they see something "different" in me. One of my prayers since I was just a young girl was, "God, please let people see Jesus in me. Let them see that I am a Christian."
You know by now that I tell it like it is. So I have to admit there have been long stretches of time that probably no one would have known I was a Christian, unless I would have had a big sign around my neck stating that I was. Not a "Bad" person, just not a very "Loving" one.
14. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. 15. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17. But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18. Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 19. We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him, 20. in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22. and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. 23. And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24. And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
This is the verse that jumped out at me when reading this passage. Here it is in the New International Version:
#18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.
I need to write this in big red letters so I can see it and remember it. It's much easier to say "Oh, I just love you so much", or to say "Jesus loves you" than it is to say it, and then back it up with actions. Then, really putting ourselves out for our "brother". I'm not as good at that. I'm sort of a loner as we have all discussed, and I value my time.
There was a point in time when God started speaking to me about all the things in my life that He wanted me to surrender to Him. It was hard. I wasn't a very loving person. I knew that deep in my heart that I really didn't even love God like I should. He started talking to me about helping others and I knew that it just wasn't in me to do that. I needed Him to put that love for others in my heart, supernaturally, through His Holy Spirit. So I had to be honest and tell Him that I needed it. "Please put that love for you God, and for my brothers and sisters in my heart."
I went through a season about ten years ago (yes, alot happened to me ten years ago) when God was really proving "points" to me. He had me out carting people to and from church, giving money, buying clothes for them, giving things away, cooking dinner for people I didn't know, hospital runs and doctor appointments, mopping church floors, serving food, busing tables, going in the middle of the night to "rescue" someone; you get the picture? REALLY yanking me out of my comfort zone!
I cannot even remember all the people and places He shoved me into to prove to myself, that I can be a "loving" person...yes, even me. That was part of my "transformation" from a selfish, unloving woman into someone, well not so selfish and maybe even "loving". I wasn't an ogre or anything, just an average person, who "didn't have time" for others.
Love is "spoken" and "proven" in the commodity we hold dear. Is it money, time, affection, giving of yourself, material things, etc? Whatever we hold close to us, God will sometimes ask us to release to Him, so that He can give to others: you know, spread it around.
So I hope that now, after all these years that I look and act a little different. That once people get to know me, I look less like "me" and more like "Him".
with great love,