September 29, 2013
The outline used in this column, the 10 major points, came to me in August 2012, from a very beautiful college senior named Emily via her facebook. I do not know the author of these ten points, but I am thankful for them. They will teach and preach.
Emily added these words. “This is a mass apology to anyone who was an upper classman when I was a freshman.” There is a difference between freshmen and seniors. Many years ago, I heard these words that illustrate the point. “A freshman was walking on the railroad track. The train was coming very fast, but the train got off and let the freshman go past. A senior was standing on the railroad track; the train was coming very fast. The senior got off and let the train go past.” The difference is in knowledge, wisdom, maturity and judgment.
We live in an age of angst. That means a feeling of anxiety and especially that accompanied by unhappiness. You could also describe our present day as one of anxiety, apprehension, nervousness, uneasiness, dread, depression and the blues about so many things. What happened to our assurance, happiness, faith, positiveness, enthusiasm, strength, expectancy and our long held national slogan of conduct “In God We Trust?”
Faith has been described in a number of ways. George Buttrick, celebrated and scholarly preacher of New York City, whom I met, called it “The response of our spirits to beckonings of the eternal.” It was defined as “God felt by our heart, not by reason” by Blaise Pascal. Edward Young called it, “A bridge across the gulf of death.”
How do we go about loving others? Ralph Waldo Emerson, revered early American writer called love, “Our highest word, and the synonym of God.” The Bible simply states, “God is love.” Here are “Ten ways to love.” The more you read of all these chapters, the better it will be.
1. Listen without interrupting (Proverbs 18). Read all these powerful proverbs and especially verse four which says, “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; The well-spring of wisdom is a flowing brook.”
2. Speak without accusing (James 1:19). “… , slow to speak, slow to wrath;”
3. Give without sparing (Proverbs 21:26). “But the righteous gives and does not spare.”
4. Pray without ceasing (Colossians 1:9). “We … do not cease to pray for you.”
5. Answer without arguing (Proverbs 17:1). “Better in a dry morsel with quietness.”
6. Share without pretending (Ephesians 4:15). “… No church shared with me … but you.”
7. Enjoy without complaint (Philippians 2:14). “Do all things without complaining …”
8. Trust without wavering (I Corinthians 13:7). “… bears all things …”
9. Forgive without punishing (Colossians 3:13). “bearing with … and forgiving …”
10. Promise without forgetting (Proverbs 13:12). “Hope deferred makes the heart sick. But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”
Study these passages from the Word of God. Meditate on them. Apply them to your own life. Share them with your family, neighbors, friends – your pastor and your church.
You will probably add many other ways to love to these I have mentioned. I would enjoy having your additions to this list. Our world, especially the world in which we live each day, needs lots of love. We can find noble ways to daily let others know they are loved.