How I Define LOVE…

I heard this week on a YouTube Channel that “Love is not an emotion or a feeling, but just the lack of hate.”  It was something I couldn’t let go of.  I kept the thought rotating on the spit in my mind like a huge chicken roasting on a rotisserie… A chicken I had just named LOVE.  Thinking, oh when I am done roasting this thought, it will taste so good for all who choose to eat with me.

The thing is the longer I think of it, ponder on it, the more love I feel.  The longer I get lost in my memories, the more I am directed to moments that I received care, received compassion and forgiveness.  These are all actions that have made me feel loved.  How do I show love?  Do I show love to myself, and do those I do love know that I love them?  Is love sacrifice?  Is love pain?  Is love just good feelings and happy thoughts?  Is love tears of joy or sadness? What if it were more simply described for all of us?  I can sum it up in three words.

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I believe I can be a caring person, a forgiving and compassionate person.  Can I be those things to someone who irritates, frustrates, or ignites anger in me?  Why do some people cause us to react negatively?  If I am a loving person, can I react like that to anyone?  I have to be accepting of everyone, no matter their background, political affiliation, educational level, financial situation, no matter what.  I have to accept everyone to show love.  So if I am to love everyone, I must hold judgement of everyone?  I must accept each and every person on this planet in order to LOVE.  I have to love murderers, and rapists, and pedophiles, and hookers, and white supremicist, and terrorists and even the boogie man, I have to accept ALL?  Oh my! No wonder there is so much hate in the world.  It is so much easier to judge and only accept the things we like in others.  What if we could heal all of those things with LOVE.  Thinking of this creates a nice picture and maybe my internal drive of perfection is taking over, but doesn’t it take you to a utopia?

Want to know love?  If God is love, here is the description of LOVE. Sounds like an unachievable perfection, doesn’t it?

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Anyone that has lived longer than 5 years has experienced an unloving moment, has learned not to trust, not to hope, to be rude, to be impatient, to tell a lie.  We were all born with a root of evil and a spirit of love.  How do we release ourselves with this entangled root of evil.  Where do we find the ability to release it from ourselves.  We have to know GOD.  I know most of us that chose to go to Vacation Bible School when we were younger or maybe even forced to go; had to learn a scripture.  John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

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If I dissect this one scripture, I can discover so much.  I have repeated it so many times in my life, and yet I have never actually looked at the scripture as a key to living forever.  “The WORLD” = each of us!  All of our sins, our misconducts, our flaws, all of us.  Every single one of us make up THE WORLD. He LOVES us (the world) so much that he sacrificed perfection, for us.  His SON = perfection.  The only perfect being ever made was sacrificed for our messed up, imperfect lives.  Once we believe in LOVE, we have EVERLASTING LIFE?  Wait, what?  What does it all mean?  He should have chosen quality over quantity, right?  We do! What am I missing, what have I been missing?

If God can give up his most beloved and perfect masterpiece, what is holding me back?  I want to love and yet I can’t even get over myself.  My insecurities keep me fearful.  I can’t speak the truth, afraid of others reactions.  I have built a prison and I should be living free in the spirit.  His Spirit.  Even now while I am mulling all of this over while I am writing I am considering the responses I might get from people who might label me a bible thumper, religious freak.  Honestly, I consider that an insult.  I believe in God, but don’t categorize me as one of THOSE people.  Look there it is, that ROOT.  Rearing it’s ugly head again.   I know everyone has an opinion.  Maybe we shouldn’t!  Once we require an opinion we should pray for the Spirit to lead us to the correct one.  I know that this sounds a bit like the rantings of a lunatic, but what if they aren’t?  What if they are from Him, and he is using some misfit teacher who has failed multiple times in marriage and who has had to fight to keep everyone that is close to her as a messenger of LOVE.  WTH?  I can’t even believe I just wrote that.

My brother and I throw ideas, revelations, scriptures back and forth to each other; through text messages.  He sent me one that said, “Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit.  Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.  For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness.”  I bring this up because I began writing a blog to vent my thoughts and to help others that might be experiencing life the same way.  I kept looking for something to make me feel better, something to make me look better, something to make me appear perfect.  All of those things were selfish and my actions were coming from the root of sinful self-interest.  I watered that root until it had nearly taken hold of every fiber of my being.  I saw nothing wrong with my endeavors, nothing wrong with what I was seeking.  It was for a better me!  Society tells us that is what we should all be doing.  “Don’t stop yourself, indulge!”  “BUY MORE! LIVE MORE! BE MORE!”

My message is this, That root of sinful self-interest can never get enough and it has been planted inside each of us.  Have you ever actually dug a root out of the ground.  It is quite the job.  It is not like we can just find it and pluck it out.  We must work it out, and realize why it had been planted there in the first place.  Without it, we wouldn’t have the need to look for LOVE.  I still don’t know how to rid myself of the thoughts or the shameful places this “root” takes me, but I know I can no longer feed it.  I must acknowledge that it is there and find the spirit that is of LOVE and water & feed it, to show this “root” there is no longer any room for it to dwell inside of me.

Do you know why I must accept this “root?”  If I can’t find it in myself to accept who I am and understand what I am capable of, and love myself in spite of all of that, my love for others is only coming from a place that only serves my self-interest.  I am only loving so that I may be loved.  I have to forfeit that idea of romantic love. My ideas of fairy tales can not be my description of love.  I must accept all the parts of who I am, the dark and gloomy parts, the weak and scared parts, the indulgent and insecure parts or I will never be able to have love for others.  It will all be artificial.  Be real with yourself!

I have heard from several people in my life that I am not judgmental.  Immediately, when I hear this I think… “Yeah, I know I don’t want others to judge me so I don’t judge others.”  People living in sinful self-interest, can’t handle shame.  I didn’t want to impart my honest remarks on how others chose to live their life, what if they decided to be honest about my choices.  That would bring shame and that would hurt my feelings.  My precious ego wouldn’t be able to survive.  Can we grow without honesty?  I think I cleared that up last week.  I believe no growth can occur without honesty.  Love rejoices in the truth. Start LOVING this week by being HONEST with yourself and be led by the SPIRIT, not grounded by the ROOT of sinful self-interest.  Teach others that it is ok to love the messy and messed up.  BE the change this world needs to see by spreading truth,   without judgment.239b2aeb45415859920af6834f9b22e6

My definition of love is this…  It is releasing your needs, and helping others.  It is accepting the mistakes and misfortunes of others.  Love is not about YOU, it is about His Spirit.  His Spirit is in each of us, so when we accept that we are all imperfect yet truly loveable, we are truly loving ourselves.

Do not SEEK love my friends, seek to TEACH everyone where it can be found.  We all have it, someone might need to water and nurture it a bit more than others.  I will leave you with this to think of as well.  A bit of wisdom spoken by my dad a few days ago.  When asked “What is the cause of human suffering?”  My dad said, “It’s real simple, we must love our neighbor!”  I think the world needs a refresher course on what love is, then we need to show love to each other.  Love does meet the requirements of a four letter word.  But this word isn’t dirty or shameful, it isn’t evil or self-seeking.  It is a word we all need to become better acquainted with, and it is a word that should most definitely be felt by each of us.  It should be felt growing inside each of us.

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Have a great day! Love, Michelle

What causes your SOUL to catch FIRE?

Cold is uncomfortable it causes people to tremble and shake when it is felt at extreme low temperatures. There is a need for the body to find a source of heat, our bodies create heat to sustain a normal temperature of 98.6 degrees. It does this by shivering, this occurs when your body falls as little as one degree below its usual core temperature, which is normally around 98 degrees. When this happens, a part of your brain called the hypothalamus lets your muscles know that they need to start moving in order to generate heat. Have you taken your spiritual temperature. Are you freezing, are you warm or comfortable, or are you on fire and creating warmth for others to feel?

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FEED THE FIRE

Psalm 39:3

Inward Fire

My heart was hot within me, While I was musing the fire burned; Then I spoke with my tongue:

musing- in one definition it is called meditation, and in another it is described as complaint.

So I think this scripture could use a bit of interpretation and can mean one of two things. We begin to burn either through meditation and quiet time with ourselves and God, seeking a place of transcendence beyond the earthly realm in our spiritual environment. Then we should speak of the outcomes. Or it could be interpreted as burning inside by reason of injustice and feeling the need to complain. I feel that this is something most people are better at, and the other interpretation takes more time to learn and practice.

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I find myself complaining about a lot of things throughout the day. “Ugh, I have to do dishes, I have to do laundry, I have to get dressed to leave the house, I have to pick up my child’s toys. I know, I know… I shouldn’t complain so much. I should seek more time in meditation instead of complaint. It is easy to become complacent in our lives to get comfortable in the warmth of just surviving. How is it that most still feel as though they are lacking something more. What do we need to fuel the flame inside each of us? I think of that song from Sunday School, “This Little Light of Mine” How many times have you let Satan put it out? Does it still burn as a small flame? If you had to provide someone else warmth from your flame, could you?

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I feel that God is an enormous amount of energy. He created us, he made us for a purpose. We are all offspring of that energy.  Could our fire get as big as GOD?  That coal is placed inside of each of us. It is our portion of His Holy Spirit. I believe every person begins life with the same ration of Holy Spirit. He gives us the opportunity to listen to the world/ satan and have it snuffed out by negativity and evil actions/responses to the world or we can choose to let it grow.

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How does a fire grow? You feed it. The science behind fire is simple. What does a fire need? Typically, fire comes from a chemical reaction between oxygen in the atmosphere and some sort of fuel (wood or gasoline, or coal for our analogy). Of course, wood and gasoline don’t spontaneously catch on fire just because they’re surrounded by oxygen. For the combustion reaction to happen, you have to heat the fuel to its ignition temperature. This simple understanding of fire and how it works can be used to help us understand ourselves better and also our role in walking in the spirit.

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Giving off warmth and light to those around us. My ignition temperature may be different than even that of my brother. He is genetically similar to me because we are the offspring of the same two individuals, but he has sought after God for the majority of his life. A faithful servant. I have been wayward and in my attempts to find God, I complained that my life was too difficult to bear. My ignition temperature must be a higher temperature. The problem wasn’t the coal we were created with, it was the temperature variance we were also created with, in order for our fuel to ignite. If you are a person with a similar ignition temperature these words may be hitting you with complete clarity and understanding at this point.

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So I just looked it up and all types of wood have varying ignition temperatures. We are even similar to the trees aren’t we? How can we all expect to be designed the same way, we are all here fulfilling a different purpose and walking a different path. Obviously there are people in our lives that seem to burn daily with maybe just a tiny spark happening some place close by and it sets their coal to burn an amazing flame. Then there are people like myself, that almost need the whole area around them to be scorched to ashes before recognizing that ignition temperatures have been reached and it is time to burn.

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This came from praying this morning and looking at our fire pit this morning. Let your coal find oxygen and let it set a blaze to not only keep  you warm but others warm as well.  Your spirit can burn just find your ignition temperature and surround yourself with things that cause a spark.

May God bless you today!

**Disclaimer**  I am not a religious expert or claim to be.  This is just some insight I am sharing today.  I have received some feedback on this particular entry -“that we aren’t born with the Holy Spirit.  That it is a gift.”  Whenever it does actually reside inside of us whether at birth or later, after accepting Christ is not poignant to the fact that we need to find the things that cause it to set ablaze.  It is there if you believe it to be there.  God’s love is there.  Show it to others!***