Last week, I was in Los Angeles, attending a 3-day conference of leaders from every sphere of society that gathered together to learn, reflect, collaborate and take action to renew our culture. (www.Qideas.org) In a word, it rocked! Everyone shared a common commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ and an awareness of our calling by God to join Him in his redeeming work throughout every channel of culture. What an awesome experience it was to hear from and interact with so many people that use their God-given gifts to influence and shape culture.
Although, truth be told, immersing myself in a new environment like that made me feel like I was trying to drink from a fire hydrant. So much coming in so quickly, while still processing my own thoughts and ideas as they were stirred up, has made me feel more exhausted than inspired. So, as I've spent some time resting, thinking, and getting back into my daily routine, one word remains in the forefront of my thoughts: Love.
Not the romantic or physical type of love, but the take action, do something type of love that makes you feel powerful yet peaceful. One thing all those humble, creative people had in common was-love. Love for their cause and the people they affect. It got me to thinking whether I truly 'action love' or do I 'reaction love' people. Truth be told, it's hard to love people the way Christ loves us; right? Unconditional, 'action love' is perfect and pure but unfortunately we are less than perfect and pure. Our humanity causes us to be over concerned with our reaction to/from the love we give/receive.
This brings the question, How do we overcome our state of 'reaction love' and move towards 'action love' in spite of our feelings and in spite of what we receive or don't receive in return? First, we should ask whether we have what it takes? The answer is, yes we do! The Bible says, we are to live by the Spirit and we will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature because the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit. (Gal 5:16-17) So, having and using the Spirit is what it takes. Ok, but what does the Spirit have to offer us that we can use to 'action love' people? The answer is: Fruits...
God has gifted us with 9 fruits of His Spirit that if put to use everyday, will aid us in correctly loving people.
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. It's cool to know that these 9 fruits are what will enable us to 'action love' people because each is a manifestation of love. Think about it...
Joy is - Love enjoying
Peace is - Love resting
Patience is - Love waiting
Kindness is- Love reacting
Goodness is - Love choosing
Faithfulness is- Love keeping its word
Gentleness is- Love empathizing
Self Control is- Love resisting temptation
God teaches that love is the greatest and most important thing there is and will ever be. Remember, we do not have to feel or receive anything to love someone. Feelings may change (and usually do, btw) because of our actions, but feelings should not dictate our actions.
Use the fruits to love someone no matter how you feel. Your action is what will help change your world.
If this post touched you, I'd love to hear your comments and invite you to share this with others.
Kirsten Berger Coaching