Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Live Like You're Loved

Lately, I have been reading lots of blogs (including my own) that talk about the way Christians act or behave. They talk about us, God's Church, The Bride of the Redeemer, being unloving and meanspirited. They talk about us being judgemental and entitled and hypocritical. Maybe I am reading more into them that what is written but it seems that there are lots of problems and few solutions. I am not refuting any of the charges made against us (me). Nor am I making excuses. I merely wish to offer a solution.
Being a mental health professional, I believe that there are reasons behind actions. The way we respond to others, the way we manage crisis, the way we see the world and ourselves all relate, right or wrong, to our belief system. The anorexic believes herself/himself to be fat. The consummate con artist who takes advantage of everyone around him/her, believes himself/herself to be smarter than everyone else and thus more deserving. The beggar sees himself/herself as the ultimate victim thrust into situations not of their choosing and daily punished by the coldheartedness of others. Each in turn develops a response based on their beliefs about themselves. These responses, rooted so very deeply in their belief system, dictate what others see in them and the way they respond.
Simplistic maybe--simple--hardly. We treat others harshly because of something in our belief system that tells us, teaches us, that harsh treatment is the right choice. If this is true--and I personally believe it is, then we cannot change the way we behave until we change what we believe.
I love being Ned's wife. He provides for me and protects me. He loves me! Because I know that and believe it with all my heart, I am able to behave in a certain manner with him. I am not afraid to let him see my weaknesses, I know he loves me anyway. I am not afraid to confess my sins to him, he loves me anyway. I am not afraid to lean on him because I know he loves me. That confidence, that belief allows me to treat him with love and respect and loyalty. It is what makes my life absolutely wonderful!
And so, I have been thinking about what would happen if Christians truly, truly began to believe they were loved. If we were confident in the love God has for us, don't you think we would live differently? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all lived like we are loved? Imagine for a moment, what that would look like.
Living like we are loved means that we live freely. We are not bound by legalistic traditions but by the words, the Word of God. We are according to Galatians, freed for freedom. We are free from death, set free by the blood of the Lamb. I've heard it said that from the moment we are born, we begin dying. And while that is true of the physical body, it is not true for the spiritual. Once we die and are reborn, we have just barely begun living. We are freed from death's sting. We would be driven to please Him, our every action rooted in what would give our God the most pleasure. Those who believe they are loved are able to give freely---time, money, mercy and love--all gifts, all belonging to God already and simply on loan to us---for the purpose of sharing them with others. Loved people love freely--without conditions, in spite of lostness, because of redemption--love others.
Living like we are loved also means that we live intentionally. A haphazard christian is no christian. Accidentally being obedient is of no avail. God calls us to purpose to be His. He gave us minds to think and learn and decide. We have wills with which we can choose to submit or rebel, but the choice has to be a conscious one. Every day, every hour, every minute, we decide whether to please Him or break His heart. Loved people who truly believe they are loved, live to worship their Creator, their Father, the One who loved them enough to die.
Living like we are loved also means that we live gratefully. God showers us with blessings each and everyday. The sunrise and the sunset testify of His love for us. His concern is drizzled over our lives in the gentle rainshower and the confidence we can have in His power exhibited in the mighty ocean. He is God and He loves us--James says He is the giver of every good and perfect gift! It was His love for us that drove the nails into the hands and feet of His Beloved. How could we believe in His love and our hearts not be filled with gratitude?
The Bible tells us of His great love, a love so magnificent our feeble minds cannot grasp it. The world He created to house us, to feed us, to clothe and provide for us are more witnesses to His love for us, His children. The community of Church that He makes us a part of serves as a reminder that He is still here, still caring, still protecting and still loving us. We don't understand how He could love us so---and yet we say we believe it to be true.
I read a book recently that carried this statement, "for you to live as if you were unloved is a limitation." That is so true isn't it? We are limited only by what we believe. Perhaps it is time we truly started believing in His love. Maybe our faith will be strengthened as our belief system begins to embrace the idea and maybe, just maybe we will change the way we respond and react to those around us. The possibilities are limitless--- once we start living like we are loved!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful inspiration, Neva.


9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful inspiration, Neva.


9:23 PM  
Anonymous Corinne said...

Yes, the "possibilities are limitless"
This is one of your best! Thank you Neva, dear.


9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen and Amen again!
Great thoughts.


6:26 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Thank you so much for this post. You are so correct, we do need to remember that we are loved.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

I will amen that too! Great post, sister.


12:09 PM  
Anonymous Jarrod said...

Was that quote from "The Shack"? I seem to remember a similar quote--very good--preachable.


4:22 PM  
Blogger Christian dancer said...

Thank you so much for reminding me that I am loved. I will be sharing the bit about 'leading a life of purpose' with my dance fellowship this week.

As you continue to share, may you be richly blessed!

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Georgian Peach said...

Living like we're loved! I love the title and the idea. What a change it would make in our disposition and you are so right, in the way we treat others and the way we care for ourselves. You are an amazing woman, my friend. I love that you always make me think.


4:22 PM  
Blogger Liz Moore said...

You go girl!!! Preach it! Love can change the world, but it begins with changing us! Blessings!

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Living unloved would scarcely be living, would it? What a sad and pathetic existence--acting like unloved/hated people. Who would want to be a part of a group of such people? Perhaps that would explain the decline in church growth, both numeric and spiritual, that we have seen in recent years.
Good job, Neva. You always inspire me. I like that!


3:28 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I have been uplifted and blessed by this post. Very powerful sis....Keep up the great work that you do with your blog. You inspired me today. :-)

6:48 PM  
Blogger AncientWanderer said...

We'd simply live life more abundantly.

Thanks for your prayers. :)

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Sara said...

Love it!


1:07 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Yes i am absolutely agreed with this that live like you're loved. Always feel that you have blessings of god with you.It is absolutely true that religion preaches the good things and diverts our lives to success. Your post reminds me of one another post which i have seen at http://www.succcess.org/2008/09/01/the-belief-tree-why-success-is-binary/#comments based on success in life. Your post also depicts the lesson of success.

1:26 AM  

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