A friend of mine recently told me, "Forgiveness is letting go of any hope of changing the past." It got me thinking about both of my parents who have passed. I realized I had to forgive and let go of the past hurts for my own sake. I knew there was no more hope of changing the past, but I also didn't want to forfeit the life I designed today.The Bible says that we are to give out of our abundance because God blessed us;
"From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another."
The more we're blessed by God the more opportunities we have to bless others. That’s why in the Bible it says that whatever you give away it will be returned to you in larger quantities. Everybody thinks that means give money away. But it can also mean to give your time, give your knowledge, give your encouragement, or simply give your love. If you don’t possess those things, it is impossible to give them away. That’s why the Bible says that we can love because God loved us first. It’s from his abundant love that we can love others. We don’t have to try to gain love before we can give. We don’t have to try and get love from those people around us, our spouses, our employers, our teachers, or our friends because God already gave us the ability to love. We already have what it takes to love-- we just have to choose to do it. We have to make a conscientious effort, and it does take a conscientious effort, to give love.
"Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly.
And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have."
2 Corinthians 8:12
Most of the time we give love with an expectation that love will be returned to us (fulfilling our unspoken need). But that’s not what God said. He didn’t say, "Love others so that you can receive love." He said,
"We love each other because he loved us first."
1 John 4:19
Sometimes it’s difficult to love people. They make it hard on you to give them love because they sometimes can be unlovable. People who are chronically negative, or critical, or judgmental are very difficult to love. God didn’t say that we have to love them up close. We might have to love them from a distance.
Love is a gift that we give someone else. Once we let go of the gift it is no longer our love; we "gave it" away. What they do with that gift is up to them. You can’t put a rope around the package of love that you give someone, and then when they are not responding the way that you want them to, yank the package back from them. But that’s what we often do. We give love conditionally because were trying to control the love that we want to get back. We each have a choice. God's command is for us to love, but the receiver of that love also has a choice and can refuse to take it. So, give as you are able, and drop the rope.
"All must give as they are able,
according to the blessings given to them by the Lord your God."
If you find these little messages helpful and would like to meet Vicki in person, she'll be doing a 12 week study with Nikii Baker, Legal and Mediation Consultant this coming Wednesday at The Bridge Church, Murrieta:
The Single Woman's Guide to Living In Christ
September 12, 2018 (12 week study)
The Bridge Church
38801 Calistoga Dr. Murrieta, CA.
Sign up here, email Vicki@EncouragersUSA.com, or call 951-900-4414. Seating is limited, so reserve your seat today.