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Incident or Problem? – 2018-02-08

Incident or problem? A bad day or a recurrent problem?

It’s easy to confuse the issues when evaluating. If we judge that someone has a serious problem based on infrequent incidents, we are distorting the facts. Likewise, if someone acts out on a bad day (or a bad couple days), we cannot use that as a basis for who they are normally.

Let’s face it, some days are hard, they are NOT normal. If we judge people based on their worst, we miss their best. One of our favorite sayings is, “what you seek, you shall find…” If you seek the good in people – there it is! If you seek the bad in people – there it is! Yet often we allow relationships to be damaged based on isolated incidents and throw out the positive aspects of individuals.

I have heard the saying “unconditional love” thrown down a lot. If Jesus’ love is the standard (and it is), I am not sure many of us, as humans, are even fully capable of that. We love, but we love with boundaries. We often take stock of others abilities and capabilities so we can navigate around disappointment and having our hearts broken again, and again… as I was trying to better grasp the relationship between boundaries and unconditional love, I was thinking how often when our hearts are broken, we hold back a little, and a little more…

then, it was as if Jesus spoke into my heart, “I held back nothing… again and again you have broken my heart, but I continue to love you as I did in the beginning.” I was undone, overwhelmed. I cannot comprehend the fullness of that love.

When someone breaks our heart, some are brave enough to love again, others put up solid walls. Even the brave, who still love, often carry places that are tender and scarred, places we protect. How do we possibly love like Jesus? In my own strength and ability, I do the word “love” a grave disservice, I cannot fully love unconditionally… my heart is not that big, it is too fragmented. I need Christ’s love to work in me, to love through me, to give me a new heart… one that is not broken, but new and truly capable of the fullness of Jesus’ love. Oh my heart… be whole again, made new – be emptied of myself and filled with the love of Christ!

And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. 19 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them,[a] and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. Ezekiel 11:18-20

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
4 Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel!
You shall again be adorned with your tambourines,
And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice. Jeremiah 31:3-4

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61