When I was a child I knew that if I did the right thing, I would gain approval and for me, approval was equated with love. When I was a teen I experienced that overwhelming feeling of passion and need and I thought that was love. As a young adult I thought taking care of my significant other’s emotional needs was also love.
Today I view love differently. It’s an action, a CHOICE…and God is the key to understanding what it truly is all about.
A few years ago a deep thirst began to build in me, a thirst to know God. It began when I decided that for the first time in my life I was going to begin to develop relationships with other women. While I am in my 40’s this would be a new experience for me.
To say the least this venture was scary. The committee in my head began, “what if they don’t like me?”, “what if I’m not good enough?”, “what if they heard about my past?”, “will they shun me because I am a recovering alcoholic?” and the list goes on and on….
One sunny Sunday morning I put my brave on and entered the front door of the church, trembling and sweating and ready to run. What I didn’t realize was that I was about to come face to face with Jesus with skin on. There were smiles and hugs and a welcoming that I did not anticipate. Through these people he was saying, “you are kind”, “you are good”, “you are worthy”, and most importantly, “you are redeemed”. They were living out His word.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. John 15:12 (KJV)
Today, I will be entering through those same doors, light on my feet, accepted in the sight of God and loved by friends.
Most importantly, I get to practice being Jesus with skin on for the next thirsty, trembling woman that comes through the door. Do I smile timidly from across the church, or do I envelop them in an embrace of love?
I CHOOSE LOVE…which means I choose GOD.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 (KJV)