Talking Myself Into Responding with Love
When things get really frustrating, my failures and shortcomings are magnified.
All I can think about is how I can’t do it right.
My good deeds are not enough. My attempts at following God’s law are all worthless.
And really, they are worthless when it comes to fulfilling the law. Romans 8:3
Are they completely worthless, though? Are they of zero value? Are they pointless and why am I even here?
That’s how I feel in those moments of frustration.
But that’s when I need to remember – God created me for a purpose. He called me for a reason. My existence is not an accident nor is it a mistake. Furthermore, He has specific jobs for me right now, right here. Ephesians 2:10
And they all have to do with loving my neighbor. Galatians 5:14
I am commanded to love my neighbor.
I can’t do this on my own. But with the power of the Holy Spirit, I am able. Acts 1:8
I can’t do this and feel confident about moving forward, except that I am a forgiven child of God and I live in the freedom of the Spirit – not under the law of sin. Romans 8:1-2
I shouldn’t have any reason to smile or hold up my head, but Jesus claimed me as His child, washed me in His blood, and sends me out into the world with everything I need to survive.
So what is my vocation today? How am I useful to the world?
I’m cleaning my house. I’m doing laundry. I’m creating a safe haven for my family. Proverbs 31:27
I’m disciplining my children. I’m establishing boundaries. I’m giving my children security. Proverbs 27:17
I’m humbling myself in light of my current circumstances. I’m praying about what I should do next. I’m looking for direction and guidance, despite feeling very confused. Jonah 2:2
I’m moving forward.
That’s the best way to serve my neighbor.
I need to consider what they need. Romans 15:2 Possibly seek wise counsel. Proverbs 15:22 Think about how I would want them to treat me. Matthew 7:12 Put the best construction on their actions and what I hear them saying. I Corinthians 13:5-7 Find a way to uplift and encourage them. Hebrews 10:24-25
Even when I’m not 100%.
In fact, I think we all know that when we are feeling useless and failed, loving our neighbor is exactly what we need for a perspective shift.
“For you did not receive the Spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but [instead] you have received the Spirit of adoption as daughters and sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our Spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.”