Categories
spirituality

Love builds resilience

It is God’s love that gives us the resilience to walk through the most terrifying moments with the confidence that they will yield good outcomes of a spiritual nature in our lives. 

Holding on to his divine love saves us from losing our ability to be grateful, loving and forgiving in the cruelest of circumstances. 

As we walk with God, we know everything is going to pass. At the end of the tunnel, there is light, goodness and unfailing love.

Categories
forgiveness

Forgiving our abusers to heal

Life isn’t about what happens to us, but how we react to it. If we choose hatred and unforgiveness, we become a reflection of both.

I watch countless true crime docuseries and the look on most victims of abuse, or relatives of these victims, is unmistakable. They spend most of their lives enslaved by resentment, hopelessness and an unforgiving heart.

They bury themselves alive and blame their abusers for it. Yet nobody has the power to bury us alive except ourselves.

We become a reflection of the people we choose to hate by keeping ourselves connected to them through a bond of hatred.

The desire to move forward is not enough. These chains can only be broken with love and forgiveness.

Forgiveness is an undeserved grace we receive. When we know that, we are humbled and filled with the desire to extend it to others. Because we all fall short of being good.

Loving ourselves is not genuine unless we can also love our abusers. As I explained in ‘Loving people we dislike’, we can love people we dislike and still not keep them in our lives if they don’t show repentance.

We need to allow ourselves to be divinely filled with forgiveness and love for our abusers.

Only then can we truly love ourselves, and heal.

Categories
recovery

Loving people we dislike

Many of us don’t know the difference between loving and liking one another. Keeping people close that we don’t genuinely like doesn’t work and can wreak havoc in our lives.

We can love everyone spiritually. But liking anyone depends on compatibility and is for select people who, through their actions, have earned our appreciation and company.

When someone treats people (including ourselves) in hurtful ways, we are perfectly able to love them – if we genuinely have a relationship with God. But we will not be able to like them. They don’t deserve us, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

After all, not all company edifies us. We seek good company that we like: peaceful, joyful, loving, forgiving, thoughtful. And, yes, interesting and fun.

Company that makes us feel uncomfortable, judged, hurt, offended, manipulated, insulted or even just bored and disinterested is therefore not likeable. It is a blessing to love these people, but we don’t have to seek their company or force ourselves to like them.

We need to learn to gracefully handle people whose presence doesn’t edify us. They don’t need to be active participants in our lives.

Our calling is to love them. Pray for them. Help them. And wish for their hearts to be transformed so they can enjoy a love that will enable them to treat us as we expect to be treated.

We can bring them back into our lives as friends, family or partners if they demonstrate a change of attitude with actions (not words) for a significant amount of time, so we see consistency.

Remember: We are called to love one another, not to like everyone.

Anything beyond that is self-righteous and will destroy us.

Categories
recovery

The Love imprint that heals

When our minds and hearts are set in forgiveness, mercy and love, we have found the way. It leads to a life that death has no power over.

Yet if we still spend time judging others and withholding our forgiveness, because we don’t believe certain people deserve it, we haven’t really found the way. These are all signs of brokenness.

Only a forgiving, merciful heart that is always ready to love everyone, particularly those that haven’t earned it, reflects a genuine spiritual calling and transformation.

Our surrender and humble willingness to depend on the One who made us is all it takes. Usually this happens when we hit rock bottom and, in our brokenness, realize we can’t do it anymore.

That’s what it takes for us to understand that only he can heal our wounds and replace them with his powerful joy.

When we let his peace arbitrate in our hearts we experience peace that exceeds all understanding, regardless of circumstances.

Only he can take what this world meant for evil and turn it for good. By making all things work for our good as we rely on him, he gives us a new life to enjoy, full of divine love, joy and peace.

Categories
love

We are united by Love

Many of us have turned to attack one another as we react to fear. A fear we would not have if Love were the master of our lives.

We have to be very careful at all times, but these times are particularly treacherous. There are many trials we are facing, but the main one is our ability to love one another.

When so many people start preaching violence, neglect and exclusion as means to do what is good or build a peaceful community, the darkness of this world is in full effect.

We don’t pick sides, but we must take a stand. Love is our stand.

We are not called to be silent and live in a spiritual cave, but to use every opportunity to be agents of peace.

We are not loving one another by keeping silent to avoid conflict, when our hearts feel strongly against what is being said or done. We can, and should, show our love by speaking peacefully and firmly as we assert our values founded on Love.

We are not called to oppress, but to speak up for Love, forgiveness, compassion, peace – and this not at the expense of others.

We don’t have to speak against anything or anyone. Let’s raise our voices to speak only about the Love that can unite us and not join any other conversation that is focused on dividing us.

Categories
love

Intellectual debate won’t make us wiser. Love will.

Most of my life I was known as an intellectual. I still am an intellectual. But intellect never brought me balance.

No amount of knowledge ever made me peaceful. I enjoyed being acknowledged for my intellect, but there was always debate going on about everything. And there was no truth, only competing perspectives.

One of the most fundamental changes that I’ve experienced after my conversion was a progressive detachment from this obsessive compulsive disorder we all suffer from called debate.

Most of the time, wherever there is a need for debate, love is lacking. On the other hand, wherever love is abundant, there is no need or incentive for debate.

I never feel like debating – I’ve learned to either keep quiet or vocally refuse to join. Having a background in journalism and a history of winning over debates, this is a radical change – and a wonderful one that’s brought peace to my interactions with people.

Nonetheless I am genuinely interested in the well being of those around me, so here is one strategy that I find more meaningful and efficient to produce change both in and around me:

– If I disagree with something that is being said or done, instead of debating it, I focus on acting in a way such that reflects my vision as opposed to investing in showcasing my perspective to either convince (win) or accept (lose) against someone else’s perspective.

There’s nothing more powerful than actions. So why spend so much valuable energy on debate? The world and particularly the Internet is already full of it – and there is a profound lack of love in it.

When we’re lead by love, we learn how to transcend the dynamics of this world to shield ourselves from all its nonsensical behavior.

Categories
love

Love casts out all fear

The fear of a life with an unknown expiry date is soul crushing. Yet this isn’t the life we are called to live. We drown in fear because we don’t live in Love.

Our calling is to live in Love, and powerfully overcome death as we walk towards eternity.

Love keeps us strong. Even when everything and everyone around us collapses, we stand in peace and filled with hope.

When this divine Love inhabits us, we get a taste of the eternity it comes from and leads us to.

There is no medicine for our fear in this world. If we want to be healed of living in fear, we need to want this Love.

Because only Love casts out all fear.

Categories
forgiveness

Enjoying the freedom of being forgiven

There is a freedom we can only enjoy when we know we are forgiven. It gives us peace to live life as we can, based on the conscience we have, and not as others think that we should.

Being forgiven humbles our hearts.

But we still need to be watchful of different people who will come around trying to question this freedom.

Remember, “church” is not a group or a place. It is a spiritual dimension filled with love, not judgement.

Let the One who called you guide your heart with his peace. And enjoy the forgiven life of freedom he gave you.

Categories
love

We are Love’s poem

We are a work of art, forged by eternal Love. Our design is meant to express our maker’s wisdom. Since our maker’s essence is Love, we too are expressions of his loving ways.

When we choose to connect with Love, our essence and maker, we are free to enjoy a peaceful life in this world, regardless of circumstances. He makes his home in us and we share his power to love and forgive everyone.

When we choose to connect with the systems of this world, we allow our peace, joy and love to become dependant on our circumstances.

It’s a choice we make, and we are free to make it. But each of us has a particular timing that only he knows.

We are free from everything and everyone that tries to become an obstacle between us and his eternal Love.

And we need to be careful not to allow people to tell us how we are supposed to live.

We can’t live a genuinely free spiritual life when we judge, single out others and live in a bubble of self-righteousness.

When we connect with Love, we live under grace, knowing we can do no good without it operating in our hearts.

Let this divine grace lead your heart, not people.

It is when we allow our maker to bring us into a full expression of his love poem that we become salt of the earth, powerfully able to love one another for his good works.

Categories
love

The freedom of Love

God is not forbidding us from doing things. On the contrary, he gives us the free will to make our own decisions.

Similarly in politics, a politician can be a follower of Jesus and yet give others the possibility of making decisions that are not aligned with his/her personal convictions.

I know a wonderful woman in politics who is exactly like this. I voted for her with my heart filled with hope and love.

It’s called free will. All else is judgment.

We have the freedom that God, who is Love, gives us. We aren’t called to advocate against each other’s freedom.

It is God’s love that is in control. Always.

We give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. And to God what is God’s.