Most people's experience of God is that they are told in some way that God is out to get them. The result of our relationships creates a witness for the world. [What was my experience as a person with a disability? I've been fighting a battle between the message I heard with my ears, which was that God loves me and relates to me personally; and the message I often received, which was that I was sidelined or only partially able to participate, that my needs would be taken care of later when the person had the time or resources.]
The above is a portion of my notes from the presentation on emotional intelligence and leadership. It ties in with something Jim Lyon said last night at the pastor's press conference. Someone asked a question about how to relate to a coworker who was "openly gay." I appreciated the response. It had nothing to do with beating the person over the head with "truth." He said, "People cannot hear you unless they believe that you love them." He brought up the verse about speaking the truth in love, which is often misused when people just want to brow-beat someone with the truth and say it's being done "in love."
Love is an attitude... It's painted up very nicely in 1 Corinthians 13. Speaking truth is important. How truth is spoken is equally important. Is it done arrogantly? Then it isn't love. Is it done rudely? Then it isn't done in love. Is it done because the speaker is selfish and wants the person to change because he himself is just not comfortable? Then it isn't love. ... Hard stuff to think about... I have to think about it a lot.</p>
I wrote in my notes last week that our society seems to flourish on fluffy shows of "love." The words, "I love you," make us feel good. We smoothe fights over by crooning them to each other. Why? This has always bothered me deeply. It's as if we don't know how to actively love each other. But love isn't an attitude we communicate with words. It is an attitude that motivates action. he says, "He who loves me will obey my commandments." He gave two commandments: love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself. What's the point of saying, "I love you," without acting on it, either to God or to a person?
"Do you love me?" is a very convicting question when God asks it. It's nothing like the question that a person asks because she's about to say something I don't want to hear or tell me that she's changing the plans we made the other day. This was the question tthat ended the presentation on the 7 questions of Jesus, and it's the question that tests the strength of my passion. There is a world of people out there who don't know Jesus. Do I love him, and will I do something about it? I'll write more about this in another post.