Welcome to your morning coffee! May our Heavenly Father help us not only to show love to others, but allow others to do the same to us. Father, we can be so short-sighted sometimes, in life. We can have ideas and opinions that are just not true, that seem right, but are not right in your eyes, Father. And this so often happens in love. Our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, by the Spirit in us, help us to come to your word today, read it, know it, and do it. And may our obedience be your delight. And may your delight be our reward Father. Amen.
Your Morning Song: "Jesus Does" by We the Kingdom
Your Morning Scripture: Romans 12:10
Love one another with brotherly affection.
Outdo one another in showing honor.
My birthday is on a day that hasn't happened yet this year.
I don't know about you, but I am really bad at birthdays. Bad enough that you might have noticed how vague that first sentence way. I don't like the attention, the focus being on me. And yet in my heart I want to be remembered, to be celebrated. But this feels too much like the first part and so when my wife or family ask what I want for my birthday, I usually end up saying something along the lines of, "I don't know. Doesn't have to be anything crazy. We can just save some money this year."
I've talked to enough friends and family to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way. There is an embarrassment, a vulnerability, that doesn't feel bad, but perhaps feels too revealing.
And so with our birthdays, or perhaps anniversaries, or Christmas, or any other reason why others might want to celebrate us, with us, too many of us shut it down, or make it as small and as brief as we can. It's strange how the end result reminds me so much of some funerals that I have helped conduct. The vulnerability of grief works in a similar way. Brief. Small. Not too intimate. Not too vulnerable. And we may say it has something to do with other people, but we are in fact, often thinking only of ourselves, and even then, not in a healthy way.
Whether celebrating birthdays or in grieving loss, we need to do a better job of allowing others to love us.
I think it was from a lyric in a song my brother Zach wrote a long time ago that really got me thinking about this idea. Sometimes loving someone is letting someone love you. We're really bad at this. And we're missing out.
It has been a while, but we've talked about this verse in these devotionals before. And if I remember correctly, the focus was on the explicit meaning of the text, love each other. Love each so eagerly and so thoroughly that it becomes like a delightful game, the way in which compete to outdo each other in love.
So what if it is a game, loving each other? What if I were to tell others, with birthdays and funerals and everything in-between, "I'm going to love you, but you don't get to love me." Or perhaps the playground version is better, "You can't play. Just me."
Are we really being loving to others when we don't let them love us? No. No we are not. We are, at best, being fearful of the vulnerability of necessary intimacy. At worst we are just being selfish. But we are in no way being loving.
You're guilty of this!
At least, I hope so. Because I certainly am. And I need to do better.
And with God's help we can.
We can love others better by letting others love us better.