Archive for February, 2015

Love is a choice, it must be freely pursued. Love is also selfless; it does not seek its own. Therefore, how and why are much more relevant to our conversation on love and obligation than what or when. I guess it doesn’t matter what we call it: duty, obligation or even expectation as long as the motivation is love. I freely choose to love and am willing to take whatever may come with it. Lastly we can’t forget the sacrificial aspect of true love, choosing to surrender.

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Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and quite frankly this year more than any other it has me very anxious. I’m just beginning to understand that the reason for my anxiety is the obligation that’s attached. The expectations are completely external yet so effective they couldn’t be more personal. So here’s my question: Can love and obligation peacefully coexist? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The key word here for me is peacefully, as that’s certainly not what I’ve been experiencing which causes me to think the answer is probably no. Bound is an important element of understanding obligation. And freedom is a huge part of my understanding of love. I know we are “bound together…” but also “love knows no bounds” all that to say, I’d love to hear your take on this question along with any thoughts you have on this “holiday”.

Ideally I want every day to be a gift to those I love and maybe I’m just feeling resentment that others are telling me when I need to step it up.

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside,…

This portion of scripture has so much to consider. It came to mind after reading this post by John Pavlovitz. He has some great thoughts concerning faith, trust and doubt which I wholeheartedly agree we all struggle with. The question that led me to this scripture “Is doubt inevitable and unavoidable?” gets answered, “Yes.” But another query is, “Does it always have to be like this or is it possible to decrease doubt and increase trust or faith?” I think there is much reason for hope here. Scripture supports growing trust, history is filled with examples and chances are you can look back on your life and name any number of areas where trust has replaced doubt.

We can and should encourage each other with this hope but never from a position of superiority. We can’t forget our times of question and doubt or think for a moment that we won’t be faced with more. We are all completely unique and in personal relationships with God whether we know it or not. Diminishing others because their faith doesn’t measure up is as wrong as wrong can be.

It seems to me the more our trust increases; the less important it is for us to be right, the more compassion and understanding we have for everyone, the less afraid we are of questions and the more equipped we are to share God’s love without strings or hoops.

Other thoughts on this passage: It begins and ends with love, always has, always will. Taught by God, we should never abdicate our personal relationship with God to anyone especially those that claim spiritual authority, apostleship, anointedness or asks you to be accountable to them. Increase more and more, there is always more of Him, we will never exhaust Him, there is and will always be more of Him to be understood and known. Lead a quiet life, mind your own business, and work with your own hands , For me these bring about many questions about what we see in so much of modern “Christianity”. Walk properly toward those who are outside, oh my.