I’m initiating a crucial conversation today with you with the hope that it spills out and soaks the people around you. Where two or more gather today, I hope the people that you communicate with feel your love. But whatever you’re full of…that’s what they’re going to get.
Here are your prompts to start today’s conversations: What is love? Where does love come from? What makes you feel most loved? Who and what do you love the most? Why? How do people learn to love one another deeply from the heart? What shuts us down or interrupts the exchange of love that we feel with God, with ourselves, and with the people around us? Why do we tend to get more attached to our stuff than to the people around us?
The teenagers around me tell me, “I love to play video games with my online friends.” Why? It’s the place where they feel safe and find community. They also tell me, “Glenn, it’s because people are annoying!” (Don’t laugh too hard with me on that one.) The kids around me tell me how much they love playing with their friends, but they do their best to get a hold of their parents’ cell phones instead of enjoying the kids around them. Kids want their parents’ attention and love, but they can’t get it, so they misbehave. Why? Because their parents are stressed out and preoccupied. Parents love, but they have a hard time showing it in ways that make the people around them feel loved. Kids feel barked at by their angry, controlling parents. Wives are frequently annoyed by their inattentive or absent husbands. Husbands are oftentimes angry with their wives who criticize them. Homes can be full of anxious or angry people who are worried or upset about everything. When we cope and survive by turning to things instead of turning to God and to one another for love, it’s no wonder we get stuck and consumed with lesser things as we search for love in less-than-satisfying places.
Before I get easily distracted or focused on what’s wrong, let’s return to my original question. What is love? We were made in love by our loving Father. Since we were designed in the image of God to reflect Him to the world, our true nature is to love because God is love. When our hearts are full of God’s love, our responses and our reflexes become expressed love. When our identity is deeply rooted in the love and truth-soaked reality that we’re always deeply-loved children of God, God’s love overflows and permeates our relationships and our conversations. Then our children grow up knowing they’re loved, feeling loved by us, and will find unique ways of expressing love in a world searching for love.
My most important work is developing process-oriented tools and experiences to help people restore their images of God, themselves, and people. We need people who humbly and genuinely display the loving character of God if people’s controlling images are going to be restored to LOVE. I can’t fully display the love of God in and through my life if I’m full of or distracted by something else. To the extent that God’s love has permeated my existence, that’s the extent to which people will vicariously come to believe in the truth that God’s love is endless!
If nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ, then we have no excuse for doing emotional or relational cut-offs. We have no business getting distracted by the things of this world and worshipping the creation instead of the Creator. We don’t dare get focused on what’s wrong with our world, ourselves, or each other when we hold firmly to the Truth that sets people free.
We’re called to be ambassadors of Christ, not complainers or worriers. We have Good News to proclaim today. Our loving God is nuts and crazy about you. Jesus was abused in every way, in order to free us from our sin, and to make us right and beautiful in His eyes. We’ve been forgiven and freed to love God and people with our all. Our eyes should sparkle with His love. Our ears glued to the rhythm of His loving heart as we listen to those around us. Our hands and arms should embrace and lovingly serve those around us. Our hearts and our feet should race to be first in line to serve the underserved. Why? Because the love of Christ compels us to be different and love differently than the world does.
Let your family and the world know today how much God loves them.
If you’re not full of God’s love, dump out what you’re consumed by.
Find a quiet place where God can refresh and restore you.
Christ in you is the hope of the world.
Build a convincing case!
You’re a case for Christ!