The past few weeks I have been ever increasingly aware of the word love. We focus on it in society in a number of different ways and we make it the center of a lot of movies and plots. There are constantly allusions to love and when it comes down to it, we all want to feel it.
Biblically, Jesus states it is the greatest commandment, to love our neighbor as ourselves. In Ephesians in reference to marriage Paul states: After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.
So it is the question of my heart as a woman, how can we go wrong with love and pouring out love? How can loving someone with complete and total selfless love be un-biblical? Well, being totally selfless can lead down a path of destruction just as equally as being selfish to your own body. Proverbs 4:23 states: Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
It is easy to read those words and believe that you are doing so and still be blind to the road of destruction you are being led to. Personally, I have found myself struggling with this path of finding truth and living it out. So much comes from the heart and lives within our hearts, and when we are not focused on God: satan can be deceitful within our hearts.
In Mark 7: 17- 23 comes this story: After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. "Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.")
He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' "
This is how we can go wrong with love, our hearts can get confused and fogged up as the unclean fills our heart and we mistake the wickedness within our hearts for love. We mistake lust for love and our carnality begins to take over our lives. Impure and ashamed we find that people around us are seeing us as great people of character and of noble qualities but inside God knows our truest hearts and He sees our struggles with the pain of sin and the battle we face against the inward sin. I find it interesting that we look to Catholicism and we place blame on them for having idols made of clay when we look at their statues that they have outside their places of worship. But I believe as a Christian church we have done something even more dangerous than that, we have looked around to man and we have seen people that we look up to and we have placed them on a pedestal within our own lives.
Those people have become our reflection of Christ. The scary thing is, we begin to fear what others would begin to think of us more than we fear Christ... We know that God can forgive us but we don't dare tell those closest to us, we hide deeper and deeper and try to protect our dignity on the level of earth as our lives spiral out of control before our eyes. Soon our hearts that were filled with excitement for the growth of church find it harder and harder to look forward to prayer. We find things that were once joyful now just a burden on our hearts and we become bitter. I guess before you know it, you feel like you never truly were happy and that the idea of true love and happiness in anything is just a myth or a story tale.
We don't look to Christ for our vision, we look to those around us... We cover our eyes and we try to hide behind layers of sin and apathy. The sin becomes easier to do and there is no accountability and it just doesn't seem like it's really as bad as everyone made it out to be in the first place. Confession becomes harder because as you hide in the shadows and no one finds out about the trouble you're facing. It's easier and easier to put a false mask upon your face and be the Christian everyone expects you to be. Your relationship with Christ is sincere in the sense you love Him and are passionately in love with Him... But at the very same time, you are aware that you aren't being honest with Him and that you just continue to repent and repeat the actions again... No boundaries, no accountability and now you just don't care.
I guess right now in my faith walk, this is the scariest thing to me is how easy it is to hide. We can walk around wearing masks and no one asks any questions... No one tries to pry and then when people do pry, we find it easier and easier to build up anger and lies and frustration and slowly the people who care most for us are exhausted and give up. Maybe that song, slow fade isn't such a crazy concept but something that I know I have experienced in my own life... One morning, you wake up, and you have become someone you never expected you would be. You don't know who Christ is anymore and your best friend isn't God... You have faded away and no one stopped you. For me, it took one encounter to begin re-evaluating my life... But it's a process to continue searching and begin a relationship with God again.
I plan on continuing to blog as my heart is broken and restored... I believe the church needs to rise, they need to come behind it's people, and above all else we must realize there is no pedestal to place it's members we are all part of the same body and we all fall, fail, and need a cover of love and compassion. Just as the Lord has forgiven us we shall forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ.