Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Love- the Path to Emotional Freedom

1 John 3:18-24 (The Message)
18-20My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality. It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.
21-24And friends, once that's taken care of and we're no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we're bold and free before God! We're able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we're doing what he said, doing what pleases him. Again, this is God's command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.

This was part of my bible reading this morning. I was thinking especially about verse 19, (that love is the way to shut down debilitating self criticism) because what it said to me is that LOVE is the path to emotional freedom. Love takes all the focus and attention off of SELF, so if I practice LOVE, then I am free from tormenting thoughts, burdens of my past, and perfectionistic expectations of self and others. Love makes FREE.

I also liked verse 18, that love is something we will need to Practice. It's not something that will come naturally, it will take discipline, repentance, and forgiveness. To love is going to take some practice.

And in verse 22 (we recieve what we asked for, because we're doing what pleases Him) is a key to answered prayer. (A key to Healing from Depression.) Love is that key, not because He won't give you anything if you won't love (none of us will ever earn His grace), but because when we love, our attention is off of ourselves, and "all the reasons that we don't deserve it", and "can't expect to recieve it from God". It places our attention and intimacy in Him and then we are relaxed and free to let Him do His good, pleasing, and perfect will in our lives.

Today is a new day, with many opportunities to practice. Let's love, because Love is of God.

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