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“REAL LOVE” – June 24

June 24, 2013

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have love you, you also are to love one another.”  John 13:34

I was recently going through some old papers and ran across a list of goals that I had written shortly after graduating from the University.  I was newly married, had a new career, and was on the cusp of the adventure called my life.

I remember making that list.  I remember the reasons for making most of those goals.  Through the last couple decades, I have been successful in achieving most of them.  I find it interesting that the reality of now standing on the future side of that list does not match the anticipation felt when condensing dreams into goals and writing them on paper.

I have found that to be the universal case.  Reality has a hard time living up to my dreams.  My mind creates theater.  It does not create documentaries.

My mind creates a stylized version of reality, past or future, that can be mesmerizing.  My mind can direct a whole world of utter fantasy.  The mental special effects of this world can be so convincing that reality blurs with the make-believe.  I can become so enamored with the theater of my mind that I love it more than what is real.

The real is the present.  The real comes to us with all of its flaws and imperfections.  The real has uncertainty.  The real can hurt us and make us unhappy.  The real can disappoint.  Our minds often create elaborate sets to soften the stark documentary quality of the present.  However, the present is the only thing that is real.  Everything else is a dream or a fading memory.

The battle for the real has tangible consequences for how we love.

We all love much and in a variety of ways.

We can love our family as they are or

            We can love our family as we want them to be.

We can love being married or

            We can love what we thought marriage would be.

We can love our job or

            We can love what our job is when we get that promotion.

We can love where we are or

            We can love what we were.

We can love where we are or

            We can love what we will be.

We can love what we have or

            We can love what we will obtain.

We can love others where they are or

We can love them based on what they should have done or did not do.

Our love can easily slide from what is real to a theatrical concoction of our mind.

God loves me.  He does not love a future me or a past me.  He loves the present me.  He loved me before I loved Him.  His love is not conditioned upon me becoming the someone I long to be.  His love is for the real me; the present me.

In the same way, God has called us to love others.  We are to love real people.  We are not called to love a person who we hope someone will become.  We are not called to love someone who used to be someone else.  We are to love real people.  That means we are to love people as they are.  We are to love real people with all their faults and failures.  We are to love people with all of their blemishes and bandages.  We are to love people in their weaknesses and through their wanderings.

This does not mean that weaknesses are irrelevant.  Weaknesses are the touchstone of the real.  It is only in the dream where a weakness drives one away from another.  A weakness will destroy a dream.  Therefore, the love of the make-believe is fragile and can be easily crushed by the weaknesses of a real person.

However, a real person’s weakness can truly be conquered when we love that present person.  When we love the real person, we are drawn closer by their weaknesses.  The love of the real person becomes our motivation to strengthen them in their weaknesses.  We pick up their cry when they have disappointed, once again.  We lift them up when they have stumbled, once again.  The love of a real person does not have a limit since it does not rely upon the conditions of a dream.

“When in loving it is a duty to love the men we see, then is there no limit to the love; if the duty is fulfilled, the love must be limitless, that is, unchanged, however its object changes.”  Soren Kierkegarrd

This is the way that God loves us.  We are justified in Christ.  He has given us His Spirit to overcome the weaknesses of our flesh but the love that He gives us today does not depend upon what we hope to be.  God loves real people.

May we love like He has loved us.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to love others as you love me.  Forgive me for loving dreams.  Help me to love others where they are today.  Help others to love me where I am today.    Father, I want to have a limitless love for You and other people.  Fill me with the love that only can come from you.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

Reference: “Works of Love”, Soren Kierkegaard

11 comments

  1. Have you gone through this study? It speaks to exactly what you are talking about here.

    http://www.kingshighway.org/bible-study/really-good-studies/the-way-of-agape-series/


  2. Another timely post:) and so true:) God Bless


  3. Reblogged this on simpyenjoy.


  4. Permission to repost! This is so beautifully written and heartfelt. God is good. Love is the highest commandment. Amen. Love God and love people!


  5. Beautiful!


  6. you are so right.


  7. […] “REAL LOVE” – June 24. […]


  8. Well, I’m crying! The disciples said at one point when Jesus was telling them something they must do…..”This is a hard saying”…if I recall(and my recollector isn’t very good anymore) one of the translations says. .”This is a hard teaching”


  9. […] “REAL LOVE” – June 24. […]


  10. Excellent! Thank you!


  11. A timely message for me, thank you JD. I speak your prayer and say Amen. Misunderstanding is that muddy river that separates the love we feel and the actions we take. Lord, help me to love as You do, with Holy Spirit help.



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