Yesterday I shared my crazy.
Today, I want to share God’s crazy.
Can I be honest with you and say that these posts this week have been hard for me? As much as I felt like this topic was something that would be good to talk about, to air out in the open, I have equally dreaded writing each one. I’ve agonized over each word. Praying for wisdom from God as I tackled the subject. As difficult as the three previous posts on loneliness were, this one is the hardest for me.
Because this one requires answers, ways to overcome loneliness.
And I don’t have the answers. I’m in the midst of this and needing God’s guidance as much as anyone. Look at the tagline above – “A Work in Progress.” This area of my life has big ol orange cones surrounding it, with workmen in hard hats and torn up asphalt. It’s bumpy, dusty and everything goes a little slower through it.
God has made foolish the wisdom of the world
But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.Luke 6:27-32, emphasis mine
There’s no easy answer here.
Look at that verse from Luke. That’s just crazy talk!
LOVE my enemies?
Be NICE to people who hate me?
BLESS those who curse me.
PRAY for people who mistreat me?
Doubled over in my sickness, weighed down in spirit, my natural tendencies are simple. I want revenge. I want to reject. I envy. I am selfish.
So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed
Then Jesus, my Savior, my Healer, my Lord steps in. Then the Holy Spirit, my Comforter, my Helper, enters my life. And the weight begins to lift. The chains break, link by agonizing link. The road is repaired and the cones are put away.
I want revenge, God says, “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.”
I want to reject, God tells me to love my neighbor as myself.
I envy, God tells me to rejoice with those who rejoice.
I am selfish, God tells me to regard others as more important than myself.
I will not lie to you. This is hard work. This involves blood, sweat, tears, pain and perseverance. You don’t just memorize some verses and WAM BAM you’re better. Well, at least that’s not how it’s working for me.
The alternative, though…
Loneliness, isolation, fear, envy, anger, bitterness, the list goes on and on.
That is no way to live this life. Paul describes it as biting and devouring one another:
But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Galatians 5:15-18, emphasis mine
Paul’s answer to conflict within the Body? Walk by the Spirit. It is only total immersion in the Spirit, allowing it to penetrate to the marrow of your bones, that will begin the process of transformation.
Freedom is found through faith in Jesus.
Our crazy becomes His crazy.