Yep. That’s the title folks. On July 21, 2010 I wrote a blog “Things I’ve Learned Over the Years“, so it seemed fitting to write a sequel to it – dated almost exactly a year later. This time it’s more about what I’ve learned since then – what I’ve learned on this walk.
‘LOVE’ Is the Most Over Used Word In the English Dictionary
I probably don’t need to follow up much with this statement. I’ve see it and I’ve lived it too many times. When is it appropriate to tell someone you love them? Heck, I dunno but I’d think it should be more than a month. I see people start dating and almost immediately start tossing around the words “I love you.” Why do some insist on using a word they do not comprehend? A guy will play a girl along just for entertainment purposes. He returns the sweet ‘I love you’ but he doesn’t mean them. He may ‘love’ her for what she does for him or how she makes him feel – but he doesn’t LOVE her anymore than he loves the refrigerator that keeps his beer cold.
Love is not something you fall out of or into. You can chose who you love, even though I warn you, that process is not easy. Think I’m lying? I hate smoking, but I choose to. I have to really want to quit in order to stop. I know. I quit for 2 1/2 weeks. It wasn’t easy but I wanted it bad enough and the break from it was GREAT! It’s not ‘poor me’ because I smoke. That’s my decision to start again and I accept all the consequences that come along with it. Same thing is true when we choose to continue loving someone who isn’t good for us. We aren’t victims, we are willing participants.
Love is a verb; Love is an action. Love is patient and kind. Love protects, always hopes, always trusts. (1 Corinthians 13:4-13) Love takes nuturing and care. Love can die if not treated properly. And love abused causes pain. It comes in a variety of flavors and has the ability to transform lives. Love is a gift. And loving someone who doesn’t return it the way you see – a tragedy. Maybe that’s what the bible means about being equally yolked…2 Corinthians 6:14, ah-ha. Note to self…
Marriage Is Not Held Sacred Anymore
Not happy? Get divorced. Not getting what you want? Get a divorce. GIVE ME A BREAK. What happen to vows? Better or worse? Rich or poor? Sickness or health? We treat relationships like cell phone contracts – 2 years at a time. And if you want to throw in the towel before then, that’s fine, just pay this penalty and off you go. What happened to allowing yourself time to be single? What happened to that period of time meant for grieving and healing?? All we are doing is packing more baggage to take on to our next relationship – and I’ll tell you now, you’re new significant other doesn’t want to deal with it either. People move on way too fast and it’s giving me a headache.
Trust Should Be Earned But Not Held Out of Reach
I blame this late bit of knowledge on how I was raised. I grew up in rural Indiana on 40 acres, the baby of 4 brothers and 3 sisters and folks who were married nearly 50 years before my Mom passed. We lived at the end of a gravel road which wasn’t paved until I was in my teens and my nearest neighbor was over a mile’s walk away. (Ride your ten-speed on that.) We had cows, chickens, dogs, cats; even pigs at one time, and ducks – even though we didn’t have a lake…or any body of water for that matter. We had actual chores: fetching eggs, feeding the animals, hauling manuer, butchering chickens, milking our cows, pulling weeds, tilling the land, hauling hay, corn, wheat…blah, blah, blah. We didn’t lock our doors at night and we sure didn’t worry about leaving our keys in the ignition. You worked for your keep; you earned your food; and trust, well, trust just came natural. After busting your ass all day, who had time to steal? I grew up where trusting came natural and I’m telling you – in a world like this – that has set me up for many a pain.
In my day you didn’t have immediate access to unimaginable news like the 5 year old found locked in a closet, weighing only 19 lbs – because she looked like her father. You didn’t read about the 4 year old who shot himself in the head at a liquor store. You didn’t see photos of a cat that was beaten with a log (yes, log, not a stick), dropped from an 8 foot playground, kicked and almost knifed until a another 9 year old boy stopped the abuse. What is going on with this world??? Have we become so consumed with greed and self that we can’t clear the fog from our eyes and realize what all this hate is producing around us? By hurting our neighbor, we are hurting ourselves. No wonder people don’t trust – but it has to start some where….so, if not us, than who?
Whatever You Are Around – You Will Inevitably Get Some On You
If you are around negative people long enough, it’ll turn you negative, too. 1 Corinthians 15:33 If you are around people who cuss a lot, you’ll end up cussing, too. Whatever you surround yourself with – it will eventually cling to you. It may take some time and at first you won’t notice it, but it will…trust me. Take me for example: in the beginning on this walk with God, I was like a high roller for Christ – even though I was hurting I was still praising God, posting Bible verses, believing in a bigger purpose and praying for whoever needed prayin’. Amen and Amen! Now, I find myself angered very easily, I prefer to be home alone and I’ve distanced myself from friends and, sadly, my church family. If I had to stop and honestly look at myself, I’m afraid of what I would admit to seeing. I haven’t been to church since I don’t know when. I want to go, but I stop myself. That’s NOT me!? What have I become? Who’s winning this fight? Trying to dredge up this hill, I’ve lost what I cherish most – my faith, my hope. It’s still there, but it is tattered, beaten and bruised. Sometimes by trying to help others, we sacrifice bits of ourselves. And instead of laying there expecting someone else to pick us up, we have to find the courage to just do it ourselves. Even if it means doing it alone.
You Don’t Have To Be Perfect To Be A Christian
I was told that I shouldn’t post bible verses because I cuss. I knew that was insanity when I heard it – surely they didn’t mean it that way. But, alas, they did. They really think I’m a hypocrite. Do I cuss more than I use to? Not really. I use to cuss a wholelot more; however, I do admit that I’m cursing much more than I did a year ago. Why? Because I’m more stressed. Is that an excuse or a reason? No. Neither. That’s a sign that something needs to change. Maybe I got a little on me and I need to ask God to help wash it off.
Let me make this perfectly clear – you don’t have to be perfect to be a Christian. Does that mean you are a hypocrite – maybe. If you are a preacher cheating on his wife, the title might fit. And then it dawns on me – the bible doesn’t denote levels of sin – a sin, is a sin, is a sin. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” ~ James 4:17 Cursing is no better nor worse than cheating. Maybe I am a hypocrite?? But you know what? Even Christ broke bread with the sinners. And I would imagine He broke more bread with sinners than He did saints. Bottom line is – I’m trying and I will continue to try. And I’ve got to try harder. And if you aren’t here to help me, you’re here to hurt me. And no amount of put downs is going to stop me from trying. I know who I am. I know who planted this heart in me and He don’t grow nothing ugly. So, I suggest you pluck that log out of your own eye before you worry about the speck in mine. (Matt 7:5) Someone who wants to put you down only desires to hold you back. Don’t let them. I’m not. I just have to figure out how to build myself back up. And it starts here. Today. God help me.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-13
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:14
“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:33
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” ~ James 4:17
“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” ~ Matt 7:5