Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Love is not rude.
Gentleness and self control: This came out of reading the little book I shared in the last post. It is hard not to quickly react to things in daily life, in relationships. And yet, this is love. Love is not rude, but it is gentle and self controlled. I had several opportunities (especially in my marriage!) to practice choosing gentleness and self control this week. I noticed it when driving too. Or at the store. At house church. What does it look like to approach every interaction with gentleness and self control? Allowing a still space before reacting to others, opening up an opportunity to listen to His Spirit. Even in the checkout line. Even when husband says that one thing that hits all the wrong buttons.
Rudeness incapacitates the Spirit. Or truncates it. I would prefer to give Spirit every opportunity I can.
The Little Way: The easiest way to share this one is to go to the source. I read Richard Beck's blog daily (it is one of my favorites) and this week he's been sharing with his readers thoughts on Saint Therese and her Little Way. I can't recommend reading these posts enough. They are very challenging!
There's another aspect of this week that this theme "love is not rude" showed up as well. It was in a very interesting conversation with a friend. We were talking about listening and responding to the Spirit in everything, pursuing being Spirit led in every facet of life, and he's got some of the most interesting stories.
But without going into all that, I was struck by this: to walk in the Spirit sometimes means defying social rules and etiquette. And yet, love is not rude. Will I follow the Spirit if I hear "say no". If I hear "time to go". Or if Spirit says "wait before you respond" defying the socially acceptable time frame for a response or invitation. Or will I worry about other people being offended.
Will I worry that I'm not posting this on Sunday like I promised? Or will I remain obedient to what I heard: wait.
Walking in love does not mean following all of the social rules and etiquette. God and society are two different standards of how to conduct ourselves, and they do not always align. But God's way is always in Love.