Have you ever reacted immediately in a bad situation and regretted it? I sure have had this experience several times. Even while ministering to others sometimes despite my desire to be calm my feelings were not put under control. My measured words did not matter. As my face registered how I felt. My tone would also indicate how I truly felt.
In many instances my tone was so sharp that people were hurt. In each instance I would be deeply convicted. Sometimes the Holy Spirit would sharply correct me. Most times I would be deeply impressed that I had failed to shown the nature and character of Christ. There was discomfort in me that would not go away until I made it right.
The temporary satisfaction that came from clearly expressing myself ‘without any chaser’ did not last. I was left with a burden of guilt and shame. The hardest things part was taking the matter to the Lord in prayer only to be told that I needed to apologize and do what was right by the person. Never mind the fact that I was the wronged person. No He wanted me to be the example. To simply move pass what happened. At all times, the standards of Christ was to be maintained.
You may say that is a very lofty height to attain. Are you for real? No man can do that! We are not Jesus. We are not God! I am just human. He told us to love, to forgive and all that but I have to be real. I have to be me. No one is perfect. No one is pure in heart. Standards of holiness and righteousness like those outlined in Matthew 5:1-10, The Beatitudes, are impossible to live by. Even theologians say this! I agree, It is impossible for man but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
But Jesus looked at them and said, With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God. -Matthew 19:26
As I contemplate the way of love. How to act. How to talk. How to react. How to keep my heart filled with the love of God all the time I have concluded that I cannot do it on my own. I am moved by the graciousness of Jesus Christ. He was remarkable. He faced so many challenges but showed love towards all men. It made me wonder how did He do it. He had people around that he knew were not for him. Some came to spy. There was daily opposition but He kept his heart right before God. He always moved operated with love. Studying the scripture showed that He was only able to walk this way by yielding to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I know that there is nothing good in me. Only by moving according to the Holy Spirit will I be able to walk in love. Only then will I be able to show love and mercy when I feel justified to defend myself; to retaliate to a wrong, betrayal, bigotry, prejudice or any other wrong.
As I am learning to be lead by love I know I cannot move base on my feelings, soul or mind. My feelings will keep my mood going up and down like a yo-yo. My soul and mind will apply reason. I have followed that path. It lead me to a very cold place. To protect myself from hurt I isolated myself from others. Relationships were abruptly severed. A very stoic posture was maintained. I did not feel better. Just numb.
Now what may I do to maintain an equilibrium? What must I do to think, act, speak as how God would desire in any given situation? I have realized that I had better lean on the best possible help given to mankind. I must rely on the counsel of the Holy Spirit.
For many years I would follow my gut instincts about people or some situations. In most instances it never failed. As I gave my lift to the Lord and begun hearing His voice I begun to rely completely on His voice, dreams and visions to guy me. That worked for a long while. I made a lot of mistakes but things worked out very well. In the process I learnt a lot of lessons. Now I have come full circle. I am back to following my instincts. To exercise patience and not be moved by emotions and sound reason but to patiently follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God. – Romans 8:16
Only when I allow myself to be lead by the Holy Spirit do I walk in real love. My love is selfish. My love has harsh standards. My love keeps records of wrongs. My love will shut you out of my heart. In a heartbeat self-preservation instincts will arise in me that turn my heart away from you. Only when I allow Him to guide me do I live my highest truth.
The highest truth according to Romans 8:15-17 is that I have received the spirit of freedom. The same spirit of adoption that testifies that I am more than a mere human. I am a child of God. A child of my beloved Father. A heir to all He has. Nothing will change that. It is unchangeable, unshakable truth. It now convict me to realign my conduct to show His love for the world. If necessary, I must be prepared to lay down my life.
The Holy Spirit testifies that ‘Love bears all things‘. It is not about being right. It is about sacrifice. Grinning and bearing it. Without any regrets or baggage.
But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). – Galatians 5:16
Additional scripture for contemplation:
Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him.
2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!
4 Blessed and enviably happy [with a happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!
5 Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!
6 Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!
7 Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!
8 Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous—possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!
9 Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!
10 Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!
11 Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.
12 Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Note: All bible quotes are from the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition.