Sunday, February 27, 2011

Love Hurts

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Last Sunday was a very heartwarming service. Some were teary eyed, some were bursting into tears. Pastor Simon explained that love really hurts, all of us have experienced being hurt and hurt someone in the name of love. Love, as emphasized was not only about romantic feeling, in the Christian life, it is about how God disciplines His children. The sermon evolved in the verses from Hebrews 12:4-13. As per Ps. Simon, there are three characteristics of tough love.

1.) Tough love is a sign of caring concern (Hebrews 12:4-8 - "4) In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5) And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6) because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone he accepts as a son". 7) Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8) If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons") Discipline is the main word for this characteristic, as sometimes we take discipline as a matter of punishment and not a sign of love. We might experience superb ways of discipline from our parents, we forgot that what they are doing could be a way of showing their love. In our work, the boss might have higher expectations from us maybe because they want us to be prepared to a higher level. In our part, if we really love or care someone, sometimes we have to be tough.

2.) Tough love will earn us genuine respect (Hebrews 12:9 - "Moreover, we have all had human fathers who discplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!") We should also be reminded that if we become tough to others in showing love, we should implement it correctly, we shouldn't execute it out of anger. There are three areas on how we can exercise tough love: a) teach them how to think / b) encourage them to make a change - God disciplines us for our good / c) challenge them to be submissive and to obey - learn how to be obedient as submission helps us to accept a "NO" answer and helps us accept disappointment). If others were able to obey us, respect will come next as respect is being earned and not being requested.

3.) Tough love focuses on the long term benefits (Hebrews 12:10-13 - "10) Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. 11) No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12) Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13) Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled but rather healed.") The disciplines that we have experienced may mold us to be a better person so that in the future, we know how to handle things. We should also admit that we have some unrighteousness in our hearts and minds and we should face possible disciplinary actions from others. As to generalize this characteristic, short term pains will lead to long term gains.

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