PIECES

I think we learn at an early age how to navigate relationships in the most manipulative of ways just by the reactions of those around us. Think of the baby learning to smile and laugh, mommy makes faces or tickles and baby feels her joy and responds back with giggles and toothless smiles. Or the sneaky toddler touching the fancy shmoo-shmoo on the coffee table, he looks at mama…waits a second to see if she’s going to stop him and when she doesn’t he launches into a full-on grab of the forbidden item. Manipulation at it’s early stages. As we grow, our behavior does too. We learn to compartmentalize feelings, emotions and actions.

Our “training” doesn’t help us when it comes to feeling accepted or loved by God. We tend to feel useless or unlovable based on our earthly understanding of what is good and bad. Don’t misunderstand, sin is bad. Sinful lifestyles separate us from God. Repentance brings us back to Him and offers us a whole new chance. God doesn’t NOT LOVE US and then LOVE US based on anything that we do or don’t do (except acknowledging Him as Savior and Lord) – we are His children once we accept Him as Lord and He does not play games with His children.

Don’t you wish people were like that?

We tend to toy with people and relationships. God never does that. He just loves us, cares for us and promises us that He will never leave us or forsake us. He’s never coy or distant. He doesn’t get a thrill out of punishing us or withholding something we need from Him. We do that all the time with people. We get mad, hold grudges and we even act out cruelly to others.

I’m so glad God never acts like me.

Yesterday, the message at church was powerful. It forced me to look inward at my heart and the way I feel about loving others. Like most people, I love with conditions. Do you love me? Okay, I love you back! You mistreat me? I avoid you and treat you with disdain too! Perhaps those are protective conditions. I’m just trying to cover myself from pain or unkindness.

God isn’t into that. He doesn’t love in pieces. He doesn’t love under any conditions. He loves fully, without a care of His own treatment. Obviously, as a Christian I’ve lived like heck and still God held onto me as if I were His only child. Undeserved. Unearned. Unbelievable.

I’m convicted to change the way I love others.

My flesh is weak and wormy. Why? Because when it gets ugly in life I tend to turn bitter and resentful. When my hubby lost his job (oh ya, that.) I immediately felt all the anger and resentment a person could hold in one body towards anyone who had anything to do with destroying our livelihood. I was and still do feel so hurt that my insides twist up in knots threatening to send me to bed for days. Not good. Not at all like Christ wants for me.

If I’ve learned anything about God…..it’s that HE HAS ALL AUTHORITY AND POWER OVER ME AND MY CIRCUMSTANCES.

No one, even someone who means you harm has full authority over you. You can bank on that. God is all-consuming and He will cover (His child) and protect you from anything that isn’t from Him.

I don’t have to dwell on resentment or feel jilted by someone who doesn’t see life as I do – I can love and trust God to do whatever it is to make it right. He might do that now or even after I’m long gone. Whichever, I trust Him.

He doesn’t love in pieces and I don’t want to either.

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