“If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?” — Gloria Steinem

1 John 3
1 John 4
John 15

I fail at love.  As soon as it costs me something, I check out.

And this is frustrating, because Jesus demands love.  That’s really it.

Two friends come to mind. Both exhaust me, taxing my mental-emotional resources.  Something in each — whether upbringings, characters, attitudes or habits — keeps me from easy, casual, Sunday-afternoon-of-golf appreciation of them.

The first guy redefines long-winded.  He talks more, and more loudly, than anyone I’ve met.  He possesses no inside voice.  Not in restaurants, business meetings, people’s homes, government offices, or in dealing with the opposite sex.  He’s never on time.  He is, however, overwhelmingly kind, generous, patient, knowledgeable and humble.

The second guy curses like a sailor, treats friends roughly, boasts and alienates.  He’s known for selfishness and pleasure-seeking.  The list goes on, but in truth, he cares deeply for his friends. The rest is a façade, and sometimes immaturity. That is what breaks my disciplined affection and tolerance.

The problem with both of these guys is … me.  I don’t have enough love.  Jesus tells me to love as he has, and I can’t.  If I could, I’d enjoy much more fulfilling relationships with both of these guys. I treat each with a degree of condescension, contempt and inconsideration.

Work to listen to their hearts?  No.  Judge, criticize and fail to understand where they are, where they’ve come from, and what they’re dealing with?  Yes.

Without Jesus’ help, I’m hopeless.

These relationships, like all my others, are doomed.  I cannot love like this.  At some point, something in someone else pushes me away.  I have no desire to move back.

I need someone to push me toward the other person.  Jesus keeps telling me to go back, to embrace the other person.  He keeps showing me how when I connect with him.

When men from a tribal world meet Jesus, they firstly invite their wife to live with them in the house.  Before, the wife lived in the stall with the animals. Jesus touches them, and they see their wives differently.  They love differently.

We’re lights, I think.  Light will emanate from us, but we need a source of power.  Jesus is that power.  When we are connected to him, the light radiates.

We can’t help but love as it runs through us.

Do you grow frustrated in your inability to love?
Do people frustrate you because “you’re just too different” from them, or because you’re too limited?
Has anyone loved you without failing you or disappointing you?


© 2006