Truth In Love

Truth in Love. It is something that I believe in with every part of my heart. In the past, I have written about Truth and Love. How essential it is for Truth to accompany Love Always. It has to in order for Love to truly be Love since Love is from God and He is not a liar. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1John 4:8 “God is not a man, that He should lie…” Numbers 23:19 When Truth is absent, Love fails. It’s true for any kind of Love but almost everyone can acutely identify with Romantic Love. -You know how it begins. You are intrigued and you want to know more. As time progresses, you begin to really enjoy who they are and the substance of their being. The attraction is complex and deepens as their thoughts and ambitions, dreams and hopes become more fascinating. You find great joy in their humor. You appreciate all of the nuances of their personality. When you think of them, they are present in your spirit and you desire to spend as much time with them as possible because it is never enough. And as your souls explore each other, you fall in love and you innately give your heart. You do it fully and in total trust. It seems the most natural and beautiful thing because you know how singular and remarkable they are. To you, they are priceless and so you desire to hand yourself over entirely. – If Truth and Love are present, then this Romance becomes a lifelong gift. But if it isn’t, Love can’t last. Love has to be sincere. “Love must be sincere.” Romans 12:9 If Truth is missing, then falsehood, deceit, and lies are in it’s place and nothing can drain the life out of Romantic Love faster. Since Truth is not present, Love weakens and if Truth never returns, Romantic Love dies. When it does, the heart mourns just as it does for any close death- I know not everyone has a capability for Romantic Love or experienced this but I bet that many have.

Yet, there is another type of Love that everyone, without exception, has capacity for and that is Self-Love. Self-Love almost seems anti-Christian. Yet, it is completely biblical since it is the standard by which we measure how we love others.  “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 So, the more I thought about this, I wondered how it would be if we looked at ourselves the way we do a romantic partner. Some elements can’t apply like the attraction and intrigue. But look at all the others that do:

Enjoyment of my substance

Belief that my thoughts, ambitions, dreams and hopes are fascinating

Joyful in my humor

Appreciation of my personality

An understanding of my uniqueness and immeasurable worth

What if I recognized these things and Loved myself? I can, but not without Truth. This means that I have to eradicate all of the lies that bombard me, both the internal and external ones. Think about all the lies that we are subject to over the course of our lives. Lies that say:

You are not good enough

You are not as ________ as ___________

You need a partner to be whole

You do not reflect the world’s standard for ____________

You have no talent

You are not loved

No one needs you

You are past the point of recovery

You will never change

You are common

The chances are I would not say these things to another person because that would be hateful and untrue and incredibly unloving. But if I believe these lies about myself, that is exactly what I am saying to myself. How can I then love another as myself? I can’t because there is no love there. If my heart and mind continue to accept lies about myself, Self-Love will diminish and eventually die. If it dies, I experience sorrow over the loss like in Romantic Love or more commonly, I might begin to hate myself. Truth, though, can bring the Love back. Not self-centered, self-consumed, self-focused, selfish Self-Love. Instead, Truth brings an honest, candid and real understanding of who we are rooted in the Agape Love that God has for us. That is where it all starts. He made us invaluable because of His Love. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 He made worthless Me into a woman of incalculable worth. In order to know how to love another, I have to look at myself from His Truthful perspective. If I do this, I can then love myself as He does and this newfound Self-Love becomes the Love standard that I am to strive for in loving others. Truth in Love is crucial in order to grow and progress in all areas of Love because as a follower of Christ, we want to bring them all under the umbrella of Agape Love. From Wikipedia:

“The Christian usage of the term agape comes almost directly from the canonical Gospels‘ accounts of the teachings of Jesus. When asked what was the great commandment, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love (agapēseis)  the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love (agapēseis) thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

I think that loving myself is another way of giving Agape Love to God so that in turn, Agape Love for others will manifest itself in Me.

 

God bless and Love Always

—I’m not saying that I totally have this down.  That’s why yesterday I wrote on Instagram about lies that I allowed to hold me captive because I so much wanted them to be true. But, I’m getting there.  : )

Image courtesy of Southeast Christian Church

 

 

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