April 5, 2011

The Importance of Loving Others

'...Everyone who loves is born of God...' 1 John 4:7 NKJV

Recently, a 12-year-old boy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, hanged himself. Why? Because the next day was his first day at a new school, he was overweight, and he dreaded being taunted by other children. Few things are more painful than shame. One of the greatest kindnesses we can show others is to take away their false shame through love and acceptance.

When the disciples met a man who was blind from birth they asked Jesus, '... Was it because of his own sins or his parents' sins?' (John 9:2 NLT) They weren't concerned that the man needed help or that he'd spent his life in total darkness. No, they started discussing his shortcomings - right in front of him! It's easier to label people than love them. We label things because we think we know what's inside, and we label people for the same reason. We'd rather debate homosexuality than befriend someone who's gay, condemn divorce than help its victims, argue about abortion than support an orphanage, or gripe about social services than help the poor. Jesus didn't see this blind man as a victim of fate, he saw him as an opportunity waiting to happen. He said to His disciples, '... This happened so the power of God can be seen in him' (John 9:3 NLT).

If you don't love people, you don't love God; actually, you don't even know Him! You need to pray, 'Lord, remind me today that the greatest gift I have to give others is Your love.' When you get serious and begin to pray that way, people will open up to God's help and healing.

I ADORE this!!! Love, love...LOVE it.

From the day that i changed my life, and left that world in my past, i have refused to ever do shame. It has amazed me, how many people in my life, and people that didn't even know me, have not judged me, but instead have encouraged me, supported me, and shown so much kindness, despite the terrible choices and mistakes that i had made. I don't know where i would be right now without every single one of those people.

The people that have judged me...well i have not noticed them, or missed them, and obviously did not need them anyway! Their attitudes are more of a reflection on them, and their own shortcomings, than they are on me.

Having at one time, had my life consumed with so much shame, changed me for the better though. It instilled in me a sense of empathy for others that i never had before. Prior to my time in that hideous life, i would have been the first to judge someone who was in the situation that i had found myself in. I was always the first to gossip, bitch, and moan about others, and their misfortunes.

I sometimes cringe, when i think about the type of person that i was prior to that hideous time of my life. If the changes in me, are not proof that good can come from anything...then i don't know what is. I absolutely love and adore the people that i have attracted in to my life ever since, because of those changes. I am so blessed.

On that note - i am going to have a better day than the one that i had yesterday. I woke up to only good emails this morning. That is always a good start!