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Love Lets It Go

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Love Lets It Go

1 Corinthians 13:5 ESV
5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
In our attempts to learn how to love, we find that not everyone is as easy to love as others. We sing the song, “How sweet to hold a newborn baby...” Wait until that baby gets older...
Some of those sweet babies are now demanding, disappointing, destructive or difficult people.
How does love react to the pressure people in our lives?

Be Tactful, Not Just Truthful

Proverbs 18:13 ESV
13 If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
Proverbs 16:21 ESV
21 The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
If you want to get through, this verse is for you!

Be Understanding, Not Demanding

1 Corinthians 13:5 ESV
5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
Love does not insist...
One test is how we treat the people who serve us.
Philippians 2:5–7 ESV
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Start being polite in the home. MacDonalds trained their employees to say please and thank you when they passed on your order to others.
What if others are demanding of you? Don’t sink to their level.
Titus 3:2 ESV
2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
This takes a look at the bigger picture.
Proverbs 19:11 ESV
11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
Luke 6:31 ESV
31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
In other words, don’t base your response to another person on how they treat you. Base your response on how you wish they had treated you!

Be Gentle, Not Judgmental

Two reasons why we shouldn’t be judgmental.
First, we are not God.
Second, they are not God.
Colossians 3:13 ESV
13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
The issue is not that we don’t tell the truth. The issue is that we use our truth as a club to get the other person.
Proverbs 15:4 ESV
4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
The idea behind perverseness is that something is twisted. Your twisted motives can destroy the nice sounding words coming out of your mouth. A twisted logic can make your truth a lie. Your twisted emotions can betray insincerity. But a gentle tongue is a tree of life. It looks for fruit. It looks for solutions. It looks for progress.
What if you are the object of anger at work?
Ecclesiastes 10:4 ESV
4 If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest.
Don’t spontaneously quit or go on a rant. Give yourself time before you do any kind of action.

Don’t Repeat It, Delete It!

When we face difficult people and we remember the last encounter we had with them we do one of three things, maybe more than one.
We relive it in our minds which builds resentment.
We bring it back up to them, which creates conflict.
We tell others how bad they are, which is gossip.
God wants us to let it go!
Leviticus 19:17 ESV
17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.
Proverbs 17:9 ESV
9 Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
Proverbs 16:28 ESV
28 A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
More damage has been done by gossip than by almost anything else. We cannot resist telling other people the bad news item about someone else. “Did you hear what so-and-so did? “ Or, “You have no idea how so-and-so treated me. Let me tell you the story.” A number of years ago I went to a conference where the speaker gave this definition of gossip.

Gossip: sharing information with people who are not part of the problem or part of the solution.

This definition has led me to understand who needs to hear what I have to say. I will share with people who are part of the problem. I will share with people who are part of the solution. It’s gossip if I share it with anyone else.
Proverbs 10:12 ESV
12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
Read this verse very carefully. What if you have been hurt in unimaginable ways? What if you are carrying a hurt that is so bad that you are afraid to share it with anyone? What if that hurt was done by someone close to you?
Does this verse say that you are to treat things as if they never happened? No!
It is asking you to face whatever happened head on. Acknowledge what happened. Pretending it didn’t happen doesn’t help anyone. Glossing over it is just lying to yourself.
Here is the real question. Are you going to allow that hurt to rule your life? Is that hurt so prominent that it pushes you to hatred and even further into strife? Sometimes we can be unusually upset at Person A because we remember what Person B did. When that happens Person B rules our lives. Don’t give them that much power and permissions.
Instead of repeating it, nurturing the pain, make a decision to let go of your need to make them pay. Let God handle that. Chose instead to respond, not out of pain, but out of the love that God has put in your heart.
You can choose to be tactful not just truthful.
You can choose to be understanding and not demanding.
You can choose to be gentle and not judgmental.
You can choose to delete it and not repeat it.
What is amazing that often our hurt, pain and the way we deal with it doesn’t cause anything to get better.
Job 18:4 ESV
4 You who tear yourself in your anger, shall the earth be forsaken for you, or the rock be removed out of its place?
It’s time to let it go. It’s time to let it go by allowing God to rule in your life. It’s time to let it go by dealing with the sin against you God’s way, not your way. It’s time to let the love of God rule in your heart.
If any of you have been touched, moved to challenged to take any action as a result of the 40 Days of Love, I would like you to do one of two things. First, write on the sheets a lesson learned or a testimony. Second, I would like you to write me a letter or send an email telling me what God is doing in your life. I would like you to answer one or two questions.
First, may I share the story from the pulpit if I think it would be an encouragement to others?
Second, may I use your name?
I will respect whatever you say. But God is not glorified in our silence, but in our witness to his work in our lives.
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