Posted in thoughts

Learning How to Love

I do a lot of thinking on my way home from work and today was one of those days especially. I was talking to someone’s mom about their upcoming marriage and I got to thinking about mine and advice I would give – from my experience and what I know about Christ and his attributes.

The main theme was, if you meet someone’s combativeness with combativeness, where does that get you? How does that help the situation and the people involved? The answer to that is, it doesn’t.

It’s like, adding more wood to an already raging fire. The only end comes when you’ve burned everything up and there is nothing left. The only thing it does, is burn. Hotter and hotter. That’s it – or it will end when someone is willing to become selfless or just tired of fighting. All of which, does nothing to help. It’s so easy to the point the finger at the other person. To put up the natural man defenses and excuses. All of which, Satan wants. To keep contension – to take away happiness and good. Think about this quote to help better understand what I’m trying to say here:

“Brutality reigns where Christ is banished. Kindness and forberance govern where Christ is recognized and his teaching are followed”.

— Gordon B. Hinckley
President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The hardest lesson that I’m still learning is being that person that says, you know what I don’t care what you say or do. I won’t fight back. It doesn’t do anyone any good. It doesn’t. Human nature tells us to be defensive and to build walls and barriers. For OUR protection. With no never-mind of anyone else, just us. To me, that goes against everything that is Christ.

Of course as I sit here at home trying to get all my thoughts out, I’m stuck. I really need a voice recorder or better yet, I need to remember to use the one I’ve got on my phone!! As I was loading the dish washer more thoughts came and now they’ve gone, right outta my head.

I suppose what I’m really trying to say is, in the years that I’ve been married I have come to realize that, no matter what is being said or done if I fight back, if I meet combative with combative – we get no where. That is so hard. Especially when you feel that you’re being taken advantage of or someone getting one up on you. – To take a step back and realize that, the person lashing out, the person being “mean” or “cruel” is just a symptom of a larger problem. That person, is hurting. Deeply. That person isn’t ready to talk about it or even, they aren’t real sure what the problem is just that – they are hurting.

Once I realized that, I understood Christ a little bit more. His compassion and his love. His selflessness. That – that is what’s its all about. Being less concerned about you and more concerned about the other person. I have seen huge changes in my life and marriage. I’m sure my husband can say the same. We have both grown so much. We have both learned so much – from each other and from following Christ just a little more. From trying our best to become more like him.

I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination – but I have done my very best to become selfless and more compassionate. There are times where I’ve wanted to lash out and spout off everything mean and cruel thing that came to my mind. What good would that have done? If someone is already hurting and lashing out, how is that going to help by my lashing out? I understand that, if I were to do that – wouldn’t my cruelty and meanness add to their already hurting? How would that help them or the situation? The answer – it doesn’t.

There have been times that I have gotten so angry from the hurt that I lashed out in the car. Then, you know what happened? I felt bad. I felt about 1-inch tall. I didn’t even lash out at anyone and I felt that bad. You see, I have to answer for myself. For my actions and reactions. No one else. Regardless. Where was the Christlike love and compassion? Why did I let my anger get the best of me? I can’t do that. So, if I can’t even lash out alone in the car, or wherever – why in the world would I lash out to whomever? I’m not saying that I haven’t lashed out to whomever, cause I have.

I have lashed out at others – basically airing my dirty laundry just to get it out and then – I felt bad every.single.time. Because what example did I just put out there? Definitely not Christ that’s for sure! If I’m going to be known for my fruits, what is that telling people about me and how I am? Should I have lashed out at all? Is it better to get all that frustration out in the privacy of my car? I’m not really sure. I just know that – I’d rather do that, then lash out at a person who is hurting, for whatever reason. I know for a surety that – when someone lashes out, there is an underlying issue. That, lashing out is just a symptom of that problem. I know that, Christ is patient with us and he knows better than anyone. You might be able to keep secrets and things from those around you, but he is one person you cannot hide from. He already knows – in knowing that, I do my best to realize that there is something else going on and in being Christlike, that person is more than likely to confide in me the issue because they know I care. They know I have compassion and love for them – rather than meeting them with my own combativeness, they won’t confide in me because I have given them the impression that I don’t care – anything but Christlike. Does any of this make sense? – In the world of Krystle it does LOL!

This has been an ongoing lesson for me and I’m sure that Heavenly Father gets tired of teaching it to me, but then again, I know he isn’t. He has the perfect love and patience. For that, I will always be grateful.

All I know is – when you choose to love and have compassion instead of meeting combative with combative – things in your life will start to change. You will see the hand of God working with you. You will feel your heart become open and more full of love for others. You will see people as children of the same Father. Again, I’m not perfect. I still struggle – but I do see a difference in my life with what changes I have chosen to make.

I know that in the end, God will only care about what I chose to do or not do. How I choose to act or react. You can choose the greater right/better good or you can choose the natural man. Which in the end brings neither good nor happiness. Satan will lie and tell you that, it’s not your fault. You were born this way. This is just how you are or how it is. You have no choice. All lies to get you to stop progressing. To stop becoming and being more. To take away your God-given and protected gift of Choice.

Learning how to love – something we all can benefit from. I love Heavenly Father and his Son with all my heart, mind and strength. I have a strong testimony of their love for me and their kindness. Their compassion. Their patience. Their tender mercies. All of which, I am not worthy – yet they love me anyway. More than I could ever imagine. That same love, they extend to each and every one of you. I say these things and a prayer that we all, learn how to love. In his holy and wonderful name, even Jesus Christ. Amen.

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I’m not that interesting so I’ll start with what I know, one of my favorite quotes, my favorite verse and one of my favorite books, The Book of James. I’m a lot like James I think. A little rough around the edges and say things how they are. Simple and straight forward. My favorite verse, 1 John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” My favorite quote, “You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then take a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show you the way before you.” Three things have been a reoccurrence in my life, three lesson’s I’m being taught over and over again: Faith, Hope & Love. This is what I know. God makes weak things strong. He's taken things I've been weak in or things I've needed to correct and he's helped me overcome them. He hasn’t taken the obstacle away, but he's given me strength to endure it and learn from it - to be tempered. For example, in order to create a strong sword what does the crafter do? He tempers it in fire. Over and over again until it becomes stronger and stronger. He has helped me realize that I am so much more than I could ever be. He sees me as something more than I would ever see myself. He knows me better than anyone and he knows what I can become if I just let him "craft" me into what I truly am and can be. This doesn't come over night at all but sometimes it's a long process, even longer for some. For me, I'm very stubborn. Very. It was like God asking me to jump off a cliff and just trust him. All the while I'm thinking, "yea right! Are you serious? Jump where I can't see and just trust?" - It hasn't been easy and I kept wondering, why does he still put up with me? Why does he still love and care about me? -- The answer was so simple. Because he loves me. Krystle. His daughter. Loves me as an individual person. Flaws imperfections, all of it. He loves me. As any loving parent would be with their children, no matter how many times they make mistakes. The parent is always there to pick them up and tell'em it is okay. Learn from it and try again. Because of love. - He gave his ONLY Son for Me. My testimony is this: I know God is real and I know he lives. I have seen his hand in my life many times. I know this is the true church of God and it is exactly where I need to be. From the time I first spoke with the missionaries, I felt something inside my heart that I’d never felt before. The deep, gaping wound was finally, finally closing and I could feel God filling it with love. I felt hope, for the first time in my life. There was hope. One of the hardest lessons was forgiving myself. I still have trouble letting go of some things. It took a long time for me to realize that, Christ died so I didn't have to keep beating myself up. It was his grace and mercy. All I have to do is love him and believe in him. Repent and be made whole. Just like the lady accused of adultery what did Christ tell her? "Woman, where art thou accusers"? Go and sin no more.” Once we repent, he remembers them no more. So why should we? Satan has always been the first one to accuse and point his finger. Why? Well, because he's a jerk.

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