March 12, 2013

Awkward Love

I have to risk being awkward. True love does just that. Meeting someone’s needs in love doesn’t come naturally. I have to step out and be awkward in order to meet their needs. Jesus did this. In John 1:44 it says, “The word become flesh and lived here among us.” It must have been so awkward for the supernatural son of God to put on an uncomfortable outfit of human flesh, frail and weak and vulnerable. He stepped out of the comfort of paradise, this perfect home in Heaven to come into our imperfect and broken world. He risked being awkward so that we could relate to Him, and He could relate to us. I have to step out of my comfort zone and risk being awkward to meet the needs of the people in my life because it doesn’t come naturally. I need the awkwardness of asking.

The worst mistake I can make in a relationship is assuming I know what the other person’s needs are. We do this all the time, and it creates so much frustration. Then we need the awkwardness of expressing. Jesus was unafraid of expressing his feelings. The shortest, and one of the most powerful verses in all scriptures, is John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” He wasn’t afraid of expressing his feelings. He wept when His friend Lazarus died, even though He knew He was going to raise him from the dead because He was unafraid of showing His love. Love is not love unless you show it. But love also risks letting go. I hold onto commitment, but I let go of everything else that doesn’t look like love. I have to let go of selfishness just as Jesus let go of selfishness.

In Philippians 2 it says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. He humbled Himself and became obedient death, even death on a cross.” He humbly served us to meet our needs. Love is not just talking, it’s also actions. I also have to let go of bitterness because relationships are built on forgiveness. You are going to experience arrows of misunderstandings, mistakes and hurt, and you have to take those arrows out immediately. Jesus, when He hung on the cross in the greatest act of love, the most insane, incomprehensible act of love, said this. “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” Even on the cross, as He was taking the nails in His hands, He was pulling out the arrows of bitterness, and He was forgiving. I have to constantly pull out the arrows of hurt, misunderstandings and mistakes.

Anger is healthy in a relationship, it means that you care. So inevitably, there will be times when you get angry, but you have to express it right. Anger is not a sin the Bible says. It says, in your anger, do not sin. It is not a sin unless you express it wrong. Talk it out. Work through it, and pull those arrows of hurt out quickly before they change and become the arrow of bitter feelings. How can you step out and risk awkwardness in your relationships?