If your ‘love’ isn’t producing things like safety, peace, and trust in your relationships, it probably shouldn’t be called love.
Some of the most hurtful, difficult relationships… have had some of the most dramatic impacts on maturity and spiritual growth in my life. Without them, I may never have discovered some of the attitudes of pride, vindication, self-justification, and self-righteousness that I was full of. They helped me see how opinionated I was and how important it was for me to be right all the time in order to prove my self-worth!
I believe that without the kindred affection of friends, a man is very one-sided. Just as it takes iron to sharpen iron, through the course of navigating relationships, friction and comfort are created, often showing the truth of a man to himself. Without the grinding wheel, the knife would never be sharp, and without one another, unconditional love with humanity would only be a theory. But through my closest relationships, my rough edges have become smooth and sharp.
You must enter into confrontation from the understanding that confrontation is not for your benefit, it is for the benefit of the heart of the person you feel you must confront.
February 29, 2020
If we want the advantages of love, then we must be willing to take the risks of love. And that requires vulnerability. Of course, we can refuse this path and trod another one devoid of openness. But the toll on such a road is extremely high.
We do not walk away from others to punish them; we turn away so the embers of anger can cool and reason can again rule our hearts.
Until you commit to the goal of connection, all the relational tools in the world are not going to help you. It’s only when you decide to take responsibility to pursue connection that you will discover just why you need certain tools. It’s only when you commit to moving toward someone that you will seek the knowledge and skills necessary to reach them.
Satan’s arsenal consists of such things as fear, worry, doubt, and self-pity. Every one of these weapons robs us of peace and leaves us troubled inside. Do you want to discern where the enemy is coming against you? In the network of your relationships, wherever you do not have peace, you have war. Conversely, wherever you have victory, you have peace. When Satan hurls his darts against you, the more peace you have during adversity, the more truly you are walking in Christ’s victory.
True discipleship involves deep relationships. Jesus didn’t a simply lead a weekly Bible study, he lived life with disciples and taught through actions as well as words.