The Direction of Love

Maria I. MorganBlog Archive, Understanding God's Truth

The Direction of Love

Guest Post by Amy Menter

I’ve had the privilege of knowing Amy Menter for over 24 years. Her heart for the Lord and reaching others with His love isn’t superficial. She has been an inspiration to me as I’ve watched her go back to school to get her Master’s degree and begin counseling women in an effort to point them to Christ.

I invite you to pour a cup of your favorite hot beverage and join me as I welcome Amy on today’s blog – speaking from her heart on the topic we’ve been discussing this month: love.

The Direction of Love

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God…2 Thessalonians 3:5

In my line of work, I come alongside hurting people, those who are burdened, beckoning to believe, utterly brokenhearted or even bruised deeply by love that went in the wrong direction.  I sometimes sit quietly with them in their pain, a place where words fail and presence alone comforts.  A place where all I can do is pray and ask Jesus to nestle in, hold them, and be the Comforter in their shattered and broken places.

As I witness the exposed and bleeding shards of their fractured hearts, I’m reminded of what C.S. Lewis once said:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.”C.S. Lewis

“To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.”

What kind of risk?

 In other words, he says to love is to risk.  There is the risk of death, rejection, abandonment, humiliation, misunderstanding and unappreciated sacrifice by those upon whom we pour out our love.

But that’s only one way to look at the risk.

There is the risk of love that leads to life, and to a life connected and togetherA love that can lead to the sweetest acceptance and the deepest communion of being known and understood.  There is the risk that sacrifice for who you love gains you more of who you love.

Jesus’ love

Jesus risked all, giving His very life for us.

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And Jesus showed us all of this through His death on the cross.
Jesus risked all, giving His very life for us.  For we who reject, humiliate, abandon, misunderstand and attempt to destroy our relationships at times.  While we sinned like this, Jesus stepped in and showed us His love by dying for our sins in our place (Romans 5:8.)

He offered us a love that led to Life.  Eternal life (Romans 3:23.)  He provided acceptance for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) and the deepest communion of being known and understood (Isaiah 43:1 & Psalm 139:2-4.)  He provided sacrifice that gained more… more of those He loved (I Corinthians 6:17,19-20.)

The wrong response

But often, instead of love’s risk being embraced, broken off and freely given, I see, and have also personally experienced, love’s risk leading to recoil and self-protection.  I’ve seen love running in the wrong direction.

Isolating.  Silencing.  Harboring grudges. Believing the worst.  Hiding questions.  Retaliating.  Punishing.  Doubting others good will.  Being unkind, envious, impatient, defensive, rude and out to hurt. Thinking evil. Losing hope. Not suffering long.

Hurting people hurt people.

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All the opposites of how the Bible teaches us to love in I Corinthians 13:4-8, and how to walk and be fruitful in the Spirit in Galatians 5:22.  For the Spirit leads us (even when we are hurt and in difficulty with those we love) to communicate, or defend ourselves, with a motivation that is characterized by clarity, humility, kindness and sincerity, not with one characterized by self-protection, secrecy, pride, anger, fear or self-righteousness.

Worth the risk

It is true love that risks yielding … to unity, reconciliation, forgiveness and peacemaking, no matter how hard the conversation would be to move in that direction.

And just like our opening verse states – May our hearts be directed into the love of God (2 Thessalonians 3:5) because from there, we love from a place of being completely loved.

For when we have Christ’s love, we really need no other.  Others are just icing on the cake.  Blessings and fulfillment of God’s good plan.  Temporal gifts in our lives from Heaven.

I know these are easy truths to say, hard truths to live – especially when we look for love and find loneliness or we expect love and find disappointment.  But, may I say to myself, and to you who have known this kind of experience, love is still the right direction, and God’s love is still the primary place of connection and propagation.

Your turn

What direction is your love going? Are you willing to take the risk to love as Jesus would have you love? What step will you take today to do so?

Can I pray for you?

Lord, direct our hearts into Your love. Let us experience there all the love we need. Let Your complete love saturate us through and through, so that we may be whole, healed and able to love others out of Your abundance. Let us love in the Spirit, and find in You a love that helps us when we are lonely, longing and languishing. Give us the courage to love, knowing there really is no risk. For we are always loved. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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More About Amy

Amy Menter is a wife of 26 years, during which time she served with her husband as he pastored and started churches for 16 years and then moved into the service of a deacon for 1-1/2 years at Faith Baptist Church in Circleville, Ohio.

Amy is an independent licensed social worker and has her own Christian counseling private practice. She works with traumatized women, and those struggling with depression, anxiety and marital difficulties in hopes of bringing God’s Word, Presence and Help to them. Find her devotionals on her Facebook page, Devoted Daughters.