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Author Topic: How does Love transform?  (Read 1161 times)

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Lori Bolinger

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Re: How does Love transform?
« on: June 14, 2019, 10:38:50 am »
on the other site, they needed a prompt, so here is the first portion of the study I am taking the question from

Rejoices in Truth

   When I began studying up on what love was, I was amazed at how much God longs to be loved, but His people aren't loving Him.  They may be kind, they might be worshiping, or rejoicing in the truth, but they simply aren't loving Him.  Love is His hearts desire.  He gave all that He is that we might love Him but all we give Him is affection.  Acts of kindness can speak to us, they can change our situation, but in the end, they will eventually fail, leaving us the same people we came as.  We will still be nipping and biting and fearful of what we don't know.  At this point in my life, it is very difficult for me to trust anyone.  Time and time again I have been beat up by the church, by the world and sometimes by family.  I long to hide in my enclosure and let life go by, but Love is about learning to trust, exposing yourself once again to the evils of this world.  How many times has God given Himself to the world only to be beaten and left for dead by those of us who claim to Love Him.
   Love is a transformation in and of itself.  It is a transformation that takes the things that man thinks are good, things like kindness, patience, and truth, and steps them up a bit.  It is like the good things in life only better.  It is putting power behind the things that are already good.  Love is the power that preforms miracles, the power to move mountains.  But this kind of love can only come through the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is common to hear in the church today, “God is Love.” and indeed He is.  And so it is Love that moves mountains, love transforms lives.  The transformation that Love brings can only come through the author of Love.  It changes us into the likeness and image of Christ.  As this reflection of Christ sharpens, and clears, so does our love for others and our ability to see them through His eyes.  We learn what love is and how it changes things.  We learn to imitate His patience, His mercy, His grace.  We begin to see others as royalty, as children of the King.  We allow His love to make us righteous.  We have peace when there should be none.  Mercy when others see only filth.  It is King's love that waits patiently for God's purpose to be complete.  Christ likeness is the sacrifice of self that others might live.  Love is putting others before myself.  Treating others as the favored child.  It is seeing myself for who I am and not some inflated image of who I think I am.  Christ likeness is a humility.  The transforming love in I Corinthians 13 is putting the other person above ourselves.  It is putting them in the place of honor, the favored child.  As a child growing up, I remember a relative who said that I was his favorite.  Oh how much that meant to me.  To be someone's favorite in a sea of people, even if that sea only contains 4.  The knowledge that I was even noticed was important, but to be a favored child, a special in a crowd of specials is nothing less that someone seeing the greatness that looms inside and it is Love that brings that greatness to the surface.  My husband talks about a teacher who saw a greatness within him, and it compelled him to expand himself, to meet the challenges ahead and see what had been hidden from the world.  Within each of us is a greatness that longs to get out.  It seeks to escape into the world and be recognized.  This greatness is a reflection of God Himself and this part of God can only be reflected sufficiently through you.  So when others see you for the greatness within, it is God's reflection that they are seeing.  A reflection that can only be effectively shown by you.  When you see others for the greatness they hold within, it is God whom you are seeing, reflected in ways that only that person can reflect.  Love transforms how we see others. 
   John 8:1-8 tells us the story of a woman who was caught in adultery.  There has been much speculation placed on this story as to what happened to the man or what Jesus wrote when He stooped and wrote in the dirty, but the amazing part of this story is neither what happened to the man nor what Jesus wrote in the dirty.  The truly amazing part of this story was the greatness that Jesus saw looming in the woman and how Love brought it to the surface.  The story goes something like this, a woman was caught in adultery.  Now by Jewish law that means that she is stoned.  But the religious leaders wanted to catch Jesus, to trap him.  Now remember that love never fails.  That means that pure undefiled love will not trap anyone.  So Jesus looks at the woman and knows that she is capable of so much more than a life of sin.  Then He looks at the people standing around accusing her.  He knows that they too have sinned.  He sees hidden greatness all around him.  He says nothing, just stoops down in pure undefiled love and writes in the dirt.  Love says nothing, it does nothing, instead it is patient, quiet, and waits.  When the people had enough time to be quiet and think, Jesus stands and offers one simple sentence, If any of you is without sin, throw a stone.  Then Jesus, confident in Loves power went back to writing in the dirt.  The acccusers were left with silence and when we are silent, we are faced with truth.  But the accusers leaving wasn't the finish of loves transforming power.  You see Jesus saw a greatness within the woman, a greatness that she herself most likely didn't know existed.  Jesus saw within the woman the ability to remain without sin.  And so in order for love to be complete, it needed to transform this woman into a person who could cease from sin.
   Often times we allow accusers to hide the greatness within.  We allow the accusers to destroy the greatness.  Whether the accusers are peers or the enemy.  We try to defend ourselves, our actions, argue over what was right and what was wrong.  We listen to the lies and not the love that comes to us.  When I went to college and studied elementary education, I worked hard.  I worked up to 48 hours a week and went to school full time.  I rarely slept in fact, I was so tired that I once fell asleep in the middle of teaching a lesson, and only woke when I heard one of the students whisper, shhh, she's asleep.  With an average of 2-3 hours sleep a night, over worked and lacking food, I became ill.  I went to the doctor and he told me to slow down and eat or I would become very ill.  Some of my friends, thus took me out for lunch so as to make sure that I was eating.  This occurred during a week off for sick leave.  While we were at the restaurant, a fellow student saw me.  Now, at the time I had no idea what had happened during my week sick leave, but the story was that one of the professors bragged about how talented of a teacher I was.  The fellow student became jealous and after seeing me with my friends at a restaurant and treating me like a friend, she went back to school and began making false accusations about my character and sick leave.  When I got back to school, I was faced with the threat of not being able to graduate because of the accusations.  I had no idea what to say.  I was lost.  And yet, somehow, deep inside, I did not find hate, or even anger, instead, I found love.  But how would love address such an issue?  So I prayed and I sat and I listened.  And, I said nothing.  When it was time to speak, I simply said this, you know me, you know my work.  And I walked away and waited.  My final grade was lowered by a letter, I was told because an accusation was levied they had to do something, but nothing more occured.  Love doesn't always make everything go away, all the bad stuff in life, the woman caught in adultery still faced her accusers.  Love didn't take away her shame, as it did not take away all the accusations and evil results of jealousy, sometimes bad stuff sticks around and sometimes it plagues us, but it always sees beyond what is and into what is deep within.  Love reveals the truth that the world cannot see, whether through evil desires, jealousy or personal gain. Love see the hidden things within.  Love not only sees these hidden things but desires for the greatness to be brought to the surface and exposed for what it is, a greatness.  I did not need to defend myself, nor make arguments about who I was or what I did, all I needed to do was sit quietly while love worked.
   The purpose then of this transformation, the revelation of what is hidden within, the quietness that leaves us stunned, is to face the truth.  Truth is necessary so that we might cease to war with the evil part of ourselves. There is enough waring in the world, that we need not war with ourselves as well, we learn to stop waring with ourselves, and start waiting quietly, alone with ourselves, and just wait for Love to complete it's work.  We have this need, this drawing of our natures into the spiritual world.  But it is only as we die to the physical nature, allowing the physical to become one with the spiritual, working together, that we find peace.  We discover that we stop waring and become one when we yield control to the spirit.  Man is composed of two parts, the physical and the spiritual.  Between these two parts, is a tug of war.  Man has a spiritual part, this part pulls us toward the spiritual world, the righteousness that God calls us to.  We also have a physical nature, we live in a physical world.  This physical world is equally pulling us toward it.  With each part of man playing a kind of tug of war, each trying to gain dominance, we find ourselves at war.  But God's purpose from the beginning of time was that the two parts would be at peace.  That the spiritual being and the physical being would reconcile with one another and function as one not two.  It is this marriage of the two that brought Jesus Christ into the world and it is this reconciliation that fulfills Love's purpose in our lives. 
   When we are at war, we fight for our rights, we fight to be heard over the din of all the voices that are seeking to be heard.  We are selfish and often times arrogant.  But as we yield to love's transforming power, we begin to understand that our worth isn't found in the number of people who see my value or hear my voice, but rather in the magnitude of love of those who love us.  Who finds us valuable.  I have in my possession, some heirloom pieces.  Treasures that have been passed down from generation to generation.  Some have significant value if placed on auction, others have value only to family members who find the significance of who owned it and the story behind it important.  One piece of heirloom is a ring that belonged to my mothers great aunt.  The ring is kept in a box with a rounded cup.  The ring was the engagement ring of my great great aunt, given to her by my great great uncle.  He was in the first world war and lost an eye.  The box the ring is kept in, was the box that housed his glass eye.  Now to the family, the box is as valuable as the ring because of the history and connections it has with the family.  The value isn't only in the number of people who find it of value, but in the importance the people who find it valuable place upon it.  That is why, loves job is so important, because the quantity isn't as important as the quality.  God's love for us, exceeds what man can offer.  It is a pure love that has no equal.  But in order for it to accomplish it's purpose, the purpose of marrying the physical with the spiritual into one being, at peace with one another, reconciliation must first happen.
   Reconciliation occurs when we make peace with the two waring halves.  We sit quietly and wait for the truth of who we are to be made known.  This truth of how much we have lacked love, the truth of how evil we have been in the face of pure love.  How little love we have shown, should compel us to seek forgiveness and yield to the trusting arms of love.  But we are too quick to talk, to fill all the silences.  When we fill all the silences with our own voices, we are seeking ourselves, our own greatness, not the greatness of another.  It is only in silence, as we allow truth to surface, that we have an opportunity to reconcile.  This reconciliation is the transformation that love brings to us. 

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