Loving with all our Hearts

 
Once upon a time, there
was a girl who dreamed of being an English teacher, a missionary, and a wife
and mother. Her dreams were wonder-filled; full of hope, excitements and plans.
How she would teach! What organization skills she would employ! What tender
love and oversight she would give to her own babes.  Naturally, she spent time preparing for these
dreams. The young and fool hearted girl just knew she was destined to be the
mother, teacher, and wife of the year—she could almost feel it in
her bones.

There was only one,
slight problem; almost hidden, in fact. The girl did not love others. Oh, she
tried hard enough. She loved to put on her happy face and cleanest apron and take homemade cookies to her neighbor widow. She loved to dress up her young relatives and
spend the afternoon (and only the afternoon, mind you) in loving play. The
young girl even liked to help others—as long as they were grateful.

The truth of the matter
was that whenever people did not meet her expectations, the young girl quickly grew frustrated and irritated. Perhaps it was the unruly children she
was trying to teach about Jesus—my, they never do sit perfectly still! Or
maybe it was the new couple at school; she doted on them until she noticed how
ill groomed and mannered they often were. Simply put: she loved to help others
until she discovered they were unlike her.

Briefly, we should pause
and explain the situation a bit better. It is necessary for you, the readers,
to understand that this poor girl was very unhappy and disappointed. She knew
in her heart she was not thriving in her relationship with God—in fact, she
often felt He was far off and distant. She knew she was growing more and more
irritated and frustrated by the day. “If only people were more agreeable! Then
I could behave properly,” she would silently say. The unhappy, unChrist-like
girl spent more time pluming her “best friend, best sister, best cousin, best
teacher in the whole world” feathers and yet wondered why life wasn’t as sweet
as she had hoped.

One day, the young girl
came home to unexpected company. The two guests were very unlike her but she
decided that she would be christianly and put on a good show. She tried her
best to make them comfortable but she often became flustered whenever
they forgot to be mannerly. She tried to keep sweet  until they forgot to offer help in the
kitchen. She tried to be cordial . . . but every time they did not meet her expectations
(and she was keeping a mental list!) her heart grew more and more cold.

Eventually, she found a
convenient excuse and was able to quickly send them away.  “The nerve of some people!” Then she sat down
in her empty living room, observed the empty dining room, and became acutely
aware that the lack of noise seemed to be far louder than when her company was
here. A sense of wrong-doing and emptiness filled her heart; hadn’t she been
right to send away such unwholesome, strange folk? Hadn’t she fulfilled her
duty? Why then did she feel so . . . so . . . wrong?

Quickly, she called her
trusted friend and retold her troubles. Of course, the dear comrade made no condemning
remarks; she simply asked if what was done was right. Immediately, the girl’s
heart was smote. Once her irritations had disappeared she realized she never
fed her company. She shamefully recalled that she had not offered them a warm
bath before traveling. She remembered that she had sent them out in the dark,
out into the dangerous night.

Shame washed over her.
Had not she been born-again? Had not she God in her heart? Why then, did she
not love people? Why was it so hard to live for others when they could be so
disagreeable?

Dear readers, there is
hope for this young girl. There is repentence and forgiveness. There is the sufficient grace of God which enables all of us to live holy lives. God is holy
and gracious and He gives very stern warnings on how we treat others:

“ Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly
love; in honour preferring one another;

Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to
hospitality

Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high
things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.”

Romans 12: 10, 13

 

“Let brotherly love continue.

Be not forgetful to entertain
strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

Hebrews 13:1,2

 

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand,
Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me
meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick,
and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him,
saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave
thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took
thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in
prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say
unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the
least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on
the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for
the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me
no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not
in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him,
saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked,
or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying,
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these,
ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into
everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

Matthew 25:34-46

 

“And whoso shall receive one such little child in my
name receiveth me.

 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which
believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his
neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little
ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face
of my Father which is in heaven. “

Matthew 18:5,6,10

 

I’m afraid I have a lot of growing I need to do—to really
love others even when they behave, live, dress, believe and speak so different than I;
to really serve others like Christ serves me. This is my heart’s desire. That
is my dream.

 “Herein
is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be
the propitiation for our sins.

 Beloved,
if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”

1
John 4:10,11

5 thoughts on “Loving with all our Hearts

  1. Good Morning Miss Frannie!

    Oh, dear one, this is an amazing post! All of us are guilty of this at some time…and more often than we'd probably like to admit! To love unconditionally…as He loves us…should be our only thought toward others.

    Have a wonderful day!
    Sweet blessings,
    Mrs. Laura

  2. You're right, Frannie, but it certainly isn't easy! I remember when I first emerged from my homeschooled cocoon and started college – it was utterly shocking, first to see how grossly different other people could be; but then to realize that we were much more similar than different, and I really could enjoy getting to know people who were very different from me and not even Christians. It's been rough and I still struggle with it, but the Lord gently reminds me that He ate with sinners while He was on earth, and I am to follow His example – not to imitate them or pick up their habits, but to see them as people whom He loves; and to give them friendship and love so they will see the love of Christ in me.

    Thank you so much for the timely reminder – this is something I haven't thought on much lately, but I've surely needed to! I will pray for you!! 🙂

    Love,
    Vicki

  3. Oh, this was so very encouraging, Frannie!! How often I struggle with the same things and then I feel so ashamed of how I just behaved. Yet, like you said, there is hope for us because of Jesus Christ. How wonderful to know that His mercies are new every morning! That He loves enough to give us that 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and beyond, chance! Our Savior is merciful indeed, yet He still wants us to keep striving to become more like Him. Not getting away with 'oh I'll do better tomorrow', but truly trying to 'do better tomorrow' and not allowing ourselves to continue in that sin just because He'll forgive us again and again. (and rambling… 😉

    Thank you for this post, dear sister!!! May God bless you in your endeavors and may He give you the strength to accomplish what needs to be done. "For I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."

    In Christ's Love,
    Sarah

  4. Dear Vickie,
    Yes, yes! The Lord did eat with sinners, touched them, blessed them … oh to be totally like that! So glad you could relate with me–I'm so grateful God gives so much grace!

    With love to you!
    Frannie

    Dear Sarah,
    I appreciate your "rambling" because it is true! Our Heavenly Father's mercy is new every morning and the correction He gives is for our well-being!

    May the LORD bless you with courage and hope to keep pressing on!

    So thankful for you!
    Frannie

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