Sunday, January 10, 2016

Word for the Year: Love

Every year, I try to pick a word to focus on for that year. Two years ago it was grace, and last year's word was trust. I have learned a lot about receiving and extending grace and I have learned to trust God and people a bit more, although I am still very much a work in progress in both of those areas.

My word for this year is love. I chose it because I realize how far short I fall in loving. I think I do a decent job of loving those who love me. I can generate good, warm feelings toward my family and friends. I can even treat others with respect. Where I want to focus is that self-sacrificing love with which Jesus loved us.

I want to love Jan as Jesus loves his bride, the church. I want to give myself up for her more and more. I want to treasure her as she is, a person with a God given dignity all her own. That means I have to listen and not be in a hurry to get back to what I was doing. That means I have to not take her for granted and realize every moment how much she means to me.

I want to love others as Jesus has loved me. I want to see others as made in the image of God, whether they are a part of my Tribe or not. That means I have to stop judging others, even those who are guilty of judging. That means I have to truly see others as my Father does and treat them with the respect I want to be given.

I want love to become my defining characteristic. That means I have to lay down my life, my wishes and desires, for the good of other people. That means I have to be a servant, as Jesus was. That is scary, because I have no idea how that will all shake out. I also know that I will fail, at times miserably, so I ask forgiveness in advance.

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