Thursday, June 14, 2007
"As we go through life, each and every one of us is constantly asking ourselves, 'Who really loves me? Who really cares for me?' How we answer this question will end up impacting almost every aspect of our lives. Who can we trust? Who do we choose to be around? Who do we listen to? Who will we choose to follow and obey? The answers to these questions generally come from the answer to the question, 'Who is it then that really loves me?' Well, there are many ways to answer this and many ways to determine who it is that really loves us. For many of us, and I think this is especially true in our culture, many of us would answer the question this way, 'Who loves me? The one who affirms me. The one who supports me in whatever I do. The one who is always positive with me; always encouraging, always building me up.' For many of us, our rule of life goes something like this: 'To love me, is to affirm me. It is to tell me that I am wonderful. I am special.' I ask, 'Is that really the sign of true love? Is it unconditional affirmation? Unconditional support? Unconditional praise?' You know, that may be a picture of love in our world, but if we look to the Scriptures in an effort to answer these questions, we actually get a very different picture of love. Who loves you? Well, you may be able to summarize scriptural teaching in this way: 'The one who loves me is the one who labors to tell me the truth, and is willing to sacrifice themselves so that I may come to know that truth and conform my life to that truth.' Let me say that again, 'Scritpurally speaking, the one who loves who loves me is the one who is willing to tell me the truth, and is not just willing to say what is true but is willing to sacrifice themselves in order to help me come to understand what is true and follow what is true.' This is important to us because as we go through life, often times the truth isn't flattering. Sometimes the truth isn't encouraging. Sometimes the truth is indicting. It is convicting. Simply put, sometimes the truth is hard to hear, and harder to accept, and yet, in the face of what is true, real love demands that I hear what is true."
- Aaron Messner