Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 24, 2020
When David had finished saying all this, Saul said, “Can this be the voice of my son David?” and he wept in loud sobs. “You’re the one in the right, not me,” he continued. “You’ve heaped good on me; I’ve dumped evil on you. And now you’ve done it again—treated me generously. 1 Samuel 24:16-17, The Message
This past summer at my annual week long silent retreat, my mind was troubled by a person hard to love. A person who had inflicted pain on someone I love dearly, who was vulnerable to this unkind person’s fits of rage. I felt angry reflecting on the past verbal and physical abuse experienced by my dear loved one. So, looking for a way to out this abusive person, I sought wisdom. During my one on one time with my new friend, Father David, the monk reminded me of love.
“How do I love someone who is hard to love? Especially a person who has hurt a precious one I love dearly”? “It has been my experience (40 years, so far) that violent individuals with unresolved pain and hurt in their hearts have never been healed by the love of God. Your role is to love generously, and the Lord’s responsibility is to heal their heart”. Boom! I knew my wise friend spoke the truth, but hard love is hard to do. I asked the Spirit to show me His love for my enemy.
(Note: Domestic violence is a crime, a person breaking the law needs to face the consequences for his actions and the victim of domestic violence needs to move out to a safe place).
My loving Lord Jesus Christ engaged my heart and mind with generous love when I prayerfully read the words describing David’s response to King Saul. David could have ambushed the vulnerable King in the cave, but instead the fugitive set his pursuer free. David extended generous love to the one he submitted to as God’s anointed King and leader, but who saw David as his enemy. Jealous paranoia had driven Saul to believe lies, so he lashed out at the one who became the target of his pain. Only generous love can overcome a greedy, jealous, hurting heart.
“I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind” (Luke 6:35-36, MSG).
Generous love originates in our generous God. Always He gives. He gives grace when we do not deserve grace. He gives mercy when we do not deserve mercy. He gives kindness when we do not deserve kindness. Our great God gives great love. When we are hard to love, our Lord Jesus Christ softly and tenderly loves like a compassionate shepherd on the lookout for his little ones. His love calms our troubled heart, soothes our stressed spirit and infuses a sedate, peace of mind.
Are you obsessing over the injury at the hands of an unjust person? Has he robbed you of your joy? If so, receive pure love from the one who “endured the cross, disregarding its shame”. Find your joy in Jesus, the lover of your soul. Let Christ care for your soul in the silence of the night and in the stillness of the morning. His love is indiscriminate, intimate and always available in abundance. If your enemy is vulnerable, don’t take advantage of him, instead love him in a way that draws him to the Way. The Holy Spirit is the Way Maker to a lost world on the lookout for authentic love. Show hard love when it’s the hardest, the Spirit softens the hardest of hearts. Love gives!
“Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:14, NLT).
Dear Lord, grace me with your generous love so I can be a carrier of grace to others, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Whom do I need to give my love to, who does not seem to deserve it?
1 Kings 3:3; 1 Chronicles 16:34; Romans 5:5; Ephesians 1:6
Show hard love when it’s the hardest, the Spirit can soften the hardest of hearts. Love gives! #generouslove #wisdomhunters #truth #Jesus
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