Which side of the FINGER POINTER are you on, today?

DISCLAIMER:  Please do not apply this as a personal message to any one person.  It is not.  I just  honestly believe it’s something we should be thinking about; something the Lord is working on in me.  I have spoken many many times on the cultural gap in churches.  Feel free to browse my blog 🙂

FINGER POINTING:  WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?  No matter what, you WILL end up on a side:  Deliverer, receiver, or just plain stuck inImage the middle.

So like I just HAD to dig up this song….it’s from a Christian Punk Band (some of you will debate whether that is possible or not…that is not the “point”) … The date on the link says 2009 but this is from the early 90’s if not 89 or so.  My best friend at the time, her boyfriend (now husband) was the drummer.  I have grown not to be so harsh as I had once been…but despite such MONUMENTAL growth…some still see this within me…..and that’s okay 🙂

Finger Pointer, by Nobody Special (I apologize but the link only works on PC)

Sometimes we do not realize just how hampered our vision is by cultural differences.  Cultural differences hampers communication, both in delivery AND in reception, yet BOTH are equally responsible.  “Love in action” can be defined in very different ways from one person to another, from one generation to another, from one part of the country to another.  Maybe you are so busy judging the “pointer’s” delivery, you have not realized that there was a legitimate message to be received.  It’s almost like a double negative!!!  What do we get with a double negative?  🙂  While YES we are to deliver in love…but also respond/receive in love as well.  So let’s remember that when there is communication we have an opportunity to have it be ALL POSITIVE, no matter the delivery, no mater the how it’s received.  So let’s not hamper GROWTH!

Cultural differences hampers communication, both in delivery AND in reception; yet BOTH are equally responsible.

Only God can build that perfect bridge of communication between cultures….but will you let Him?  He has built bridges in my life to those that felt to be a millennial of years away from ever understanding and for that I am forever grateful.  Those my friend, are called miracles and they happen ALL THE TIME 🙂

Are we letting people be who they are, or who we think they should be?  Are we letting people take their places in the body based on gifting … or are we trying to make the body into what we think it ought to look like?  These are legitimate church growth questions we all should be asking….That I am asking myself.

Finger pointing generally starts with an expectation.  Some where or some how that expectation fails.  Failed expectation always leads to offense.  We must be on guard!  Flee from offense at every opportunity.  Maybe it’s time to reevaluate my (our) expectation of others.  After all this all has NOTHING to do with us.  It’s all about what HE wants to do!! In a way that HE wants to…  ❤

Finger pointing generally starts with OUR expectation of others, that fails.  Failed expectations always lead to offense.

Typically it’s failed expectations on BOTH parts.  The pointee:  “Oh but he did not come to me in love! That was just outright not nice!”…or The pointer:  “I’ve told them once, I’ve told them twice, no use in casting perals after swine…”  But we are to have NO EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS.  Expectations often lead to accepting exceptions and there are no exceptions in the Word of God concerning love.

Love must be without hypocrisy.  Detest evil;cling to what is good. 10 Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.11 Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit;serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. 13 Share with the saints in their needs;pursue hospitality.14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice;weep with those who weep. 16 Be in agreement with one another.Do not be proud;instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. 18 If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.  Romans 12:9-18 HCSB

One of my favorite passages:  Note it gives NO CONDITIONS or exceptions.  It does not say….”Outdo one another in showing honor…as long as he doesn’t cuss”…or ….”associate with the humble, as long as they don’t wear rock and roll T-shirts” … or even….”Share in the saints with their needs; pursue hospitality…..unless they live in the next town over”

Expectations often lead to accepting exceptions and there are no exceptions in the Word of God concerning love.

There are NO CONDITIONS on love, even if you a called to love a “finger pointer”, or maybe you have been over exercising your own finger, please remember to open your palm once in a while, reach out, and love those you have messages for, and to receive messages given.

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What kind of LOVE is this?

love_confused

My husband often tells me that I just have “no clue” how much he loves me.  I honestly did not understand why he felt the need to communicate this to me….and more importantly just what was I supposed to do with this message?  I just simply could not process this statement.

The other night I found myself watching the movie Fireproof.  Even though I have seen it many times I found myself glued to each word.  I often get teased by my family on how I can watch a movie a dozen times like it’s the first.  However this time I tuned into a new perspective, which lead to new questions.  I questioned why couldn’t Catherine not see Caleb’s love and devotion?  What was stopping her from receiving his love?  Then like a slap on the back of my head…..DING!  She just simply could not process his message.  Once she did….well you know if you’ve seen the movie, and if not well I am not going to give it away.  🙂

Tonight I was drawn to re-read one of my most favorite yet tragic love stories in the Bible, Hosea and Gomer. It was referenced in detail in a movie the kids were watching.  If you are unfamilar with the story you can find it in the Old Testament.  Here is a simple summary:  The first part of Hosea records the tragic story of the prophet’s unhappy marital experiences. Hosea’s wife, Gomer, whom he married in good faith, proved to be an adulterous woman. Three children were born to her, but they were not Hosea’s. Because of Gomer’s unfaithfulness, the prophet divorced his wife and lived apart from her. Following her separation from the home, Gomer continued her adulterous life and eventually was scarcely different from an ordinary slave. But Hosea still loved her in spite of her unfaithfulness. To rescue her from her lovers, he sought her out and purchased her freedom. [1]

I do not think Gomer could process Hosea’s love for her.  I am not sure that she ever did, even after her rescue, unlike the character Catherine in the movie Fireproof, she finally got it.  Her acceptance of Caleb’s love prevented their divorce.  Despite Gomer’s refusal of Hosea’s love his love remained the same.  True love is not dependent on being received in order to remain.  Let me say that again, True love is not dependent on being received in order to remain.

This is true of God’s love for us.  His love never changes, no matter our actions.  We can always return to him, He is always there.  He is just waiting for us to process His message.  Even if we love never failsreject Him, He still loves us the same.  Until we can fully realize God’s love, we remain handicapped in loving others AND in receiving true love.  Even with God’s love it takes more then Love to keep the relationship from becoming broken.  Just as in any relationship it takes more then just love to make it work.  It takes work-hard work, initiative, discipline,  and commitment.

So back to my husband….He probably is right, for I have not known true love (the kind that remains) from a man.  But I was fortunate that the Lord brought me a man that truly does understand Love as God designed it.  Therefore I am not sure how to process his love…but the message is being received and will be fully realized in time.  I am a very blessed wife.

[1]  http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/old-testament-of-bible/summary-analysis/hosea.html