The War Within Ourselves: At the Heart Of How To Love

CHOICES AND WISDOM

Life is too short to hate oneself. It is even too short to hate life. There’s really only enough time to suffer in order to understand how to love oneself and others at a deeper level; that we could have revealed in our hearts the real beauty of the truth and nature of love, as well as the life (ours) and lives (others’) impacted by its permeation.

Anything outside of that is just a waste, really. We can choose to learn, but the choice not to brews the ‘outside’ decisions into lost wisdom.

CAPACITY TO TRULY SEE

One cannot always see the wasted-ness, the pointlessness of such a short decision to hate, or to be resentful; bitter, cantankerous, or short-sighted. One cannot always detect the mistake of seeing half, or less than half—of the actual reality that is the life surrounding the nascence of our maturing perspective.

But what a blessing when any one person is finally able to see, and therefore has their capacity for wiser decisions expanded amply enough to change the course of their ways and live; truly live, which is to say—to truly love.

NO STIGMAS IN AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANITY

This reminds me of Christ, and Christianity. I believe Christ is love, that He was made of love, that He showed love, and that He was defined, disciplined, and perfected with love. To me, a Christian is not merely the churchgoer, the Bible group leader, the pastors or deacons or priests. The Christian is the one who sees Christ in another, or the capacity of Christ in another, and loves the core of that truth. The Christian is the one who lives to love God, in order that they can love to live. If Christ is the center of our lives, then our lives are never boring. They are never repetitive or predictable, nor do they carry a stigma. A stigma is the reflection of a notorious association with something disgraceful. Authentic Christianity carries with it the reflection of Christ’s unconditional love, seasoned by God’s grace, and permanently grown in the Holy Spirit of each individual follower, collectively united by faith in the power of Christ through His love.

NO STEREOTYPES FOR THE CHRIST-FOLLOWER

The Christian is not one who wears particular clothes or speaks a particular language; at least outside of the language of love; discipline, fearless compassion, and boldness of heart. How hard is it to love someone when you don’t love them from a mood, but rather from a belief stemming from a source we cannot help but experience (rather than attempt to explain)? When love is within us, it springs forth nearly uncontrollably, without effort. For love to spring forth, one only needs to believe in the power of it, which is to believe in its source. For the Christian, that is the reality, truth, and life of Christ; who lived in order that we could live, ultimately dying so we wouldn’t have to, and rising so we would never have to wince at actual death (John 4:14).

For the one who believes in the power of Christ’s love, there is nothing to fear; not Armageddon, nor any war or evil. All of these were overturned with Jesus’ definitive, “Take heart! I have overcome the world!” We are permitted to leave fear at the cross—the final resting place for all that evil instills within the soul that does not yet understand the gravity of Christ’s infinite power. For all who believe in Jesus, there is nothing to fear, not even fear itself. For we can cast our fears to the blood He shed in place of every instance of our lives wasted by its futility.

HIS SUFFERING IN PLACE OF OUR SUFFERING

Humanity is as hopeless as hopelessness can endure, but only if Christ isn’t considered first. When Jesus changes everything from our soul to our perspective, there is nothing to do but love, and to continue loving even when it feels like loving seems like a dead end. Jesus loved us to the point of death, even when He had all the power to push us away. And that’s exactly why He didn’t stop loving us: He wanted us to be with Him. He even wanted to be with us in every moment of our suffering, to the extent that He suffered first so we wouldn’t have to suffer the consequence of pushing the source of love away.

THE BOLDNESS IN WHY HE REALLY CAME

We tend to love as though we were first given love by an animal, and yet we were given love in such a way that defies all normalcy. Jesus changed the ideal of love when He died for us while we were still sinners, when we were laughing at Him for what seemed like a ridiculous sacrifice. He died for sinners when only He could see that that was exactly what we needed Him to do. We spoil His name with vulgarity, throw His story around like it’s risible that a man would love corrupted people and allow them to torture Him when He wasn’t really God, and yet we miss the entire principle of His descent to Earth: He came to us so that we could ultimately come to Him (Romans 5:8).

Though we ask questions like cynics and are skeptical of many parts of the Bible, we overlook the most intimate part, that Jesus came when He didn’t have to, and in so doing, taught a meaning of love unlike anything that’s ever been taught again or anything that had been taught before. So much of how we relate to or resonate with love, reflects Jesus’ existence and choices. Even many who don’t believe in Jesus as God know the story of His life, but they cannot make sense of the story of His love when they do not believe He was God.

THE INTRINSIC AND ESOTERIC PERSPECTIVE OF AN UNBELIEVER

The love He bestowed is confusing by default when we try to pour logic and rationalization over the heart and soul of the matter. Jesus didn’t come so we could “figure it out.” He came so we wouldn’t have to. He came so we wouldn’t have to try, and try, and try, when no amount of trying could ever save us from how abusive we can be towards love. And the consequence for saying no to the source of love is infinite death, which many don’t believe in, but they feel.

We feel the life taken from us when we don’t understand what to believe. We feel the void placed by missing all the answers we insist we must have in order to believe. We can’t help but notice that the stubbornness in believing a misconstrued truth of Jesus doesn’t help us to live any more dignified or humbled. We give ourselves to charity, to philanthropy, to selfless acts and altruistic lifestyles, but we don’t understand it, and therefore it isn’t complete; it barely feels like we understand the very lives we live when we try to live them as though loving others means trying not to love ourselves the most. We can think ourselves wise and we can pretend we understand purpose by purporting ourselves independent from the idea of any capital ‘G’ God, but in the end we don’t understand our own point of view. We cannot explain it, and we accept the lack of an explanation to avoid having to explain away something bigger than our own choice.

THE WAR TO KEEP US FROM UTTER BLINDNESS

Christianity is special because it teaches us how to love, in that—understanding Christianity means we continuously search for Jesus in our lives; in ourselves, and in others. The search is never over because there is an endless stream of constant distractions trying to keep us from understanding love. That is the ubiquitous war between the dark principalities and the angels and hosts of Heaven, with the angels fighting desperately to keep us from living in complete spiritual blindness. We see each other, but we don’t really see what must be seen in order to fully love. We love, but not as completely as we could if we loved Jesus. We live, but not as though this life were too short. We live as though this life were too long and we just can’t fill it up enough to pass it on. We fill it up with transient aspirations and objects of desires. Many of us fill up our lives with what turns to dust tomorrow, when what we really need is already inside of us; whether dormant or active is in accordance with our response to grace (Ephesians 6:12).

THOUGHTS TO PONDER

We would say we choose life, but with every breath we breathe, do we choose what to do with that life by creating our own definition for what it means to truly live? Is life what we make of it, or is it an invitation to something more?

I pray we have our eyes opened to truly see what it means to live by seeing Jesus in every place He presents Himself to us. In His name, always. Amen.

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