By Daneen James
“Love is not jealous”, another translation reads, “Love does not want what it doesn’t have.” You’ve probably seen this before, part of the infamous bible passage on love, it's found in I Corinthians 13:4-7. Although, I’ve read this verse more times than I can count, I never saw it the way I see now. When we want to be something other than who we are, want someone else’s relationship and experiences more than our own, we are not living in love. We fail to love ourselves and God by dishonoring who He made us and discounting what He gave us.
See the Forest Beyond the Trees
There’s nothing wrong with the desire to have more or experience better. The issue arises when we decide the good, we’ve been given, isn’t good enough. It’s difficult to see our way forward when we incorrectly assess the value in our lives. That’s why gratitude is critical. Being grateful helps you embrace the value of where you are and what you have, without condition or contingency. We can all find reasons to be upset and unhappy with some part of our lives. That’s real. Our feelings are valid. But what’s also true, is that for every thing you don’t like, there is likely at least one good thing, that you diminish or overlook. If we think about life as a forest, the overall beauty is undeniable, but when we fixate on the trees that may have fallen, we fail to see the beauty in and beyond its flaws.
The Right Perspective
As long as our thoughts and actions live outside of love, we measure our lives and worth against the standards of people. In doing so, we dim the light of our Father. When we fail to live in the light of God, we operate without His power. Frustration and disillusionment fill our lives when we constantly compare and contrast ourselves with others. It’s only when we connect to God’s power that we perceive ourselves and our lives the way He does. Without Him we get lost in our own thoughts, bound up in our biases and overwhelmed by our limitations. We need God to stay afloat and to stay centered. Apart from Him we struggle (John 15:4-5).
Back to love
Everything comes back to love, the love we give and the love we live. The more we align ourselves with God and His standards the better we are able to feel and extend His love. Love is the lens of life, the amount of love we see in our lives is directly related to our ability to see love in everything. The more convinced we are that God loves us, the more we recognize the evidence of His presence everywhere. So regardless of what we see or what it seems, we can remind ourselves, that the God of love is at work. He has us in mind and we can trust Him with the results.
Give it a try:
When a situation arises, whether you see it as good or bad. Resist the urge to get swept up in emotion. I’m not suggesting deny the reality of any situation. But, take a moment, ask yourself, what’s the opportunity? What’s the lesson? Doing so often means the difference progress and distraction.
Thank you for reading, I hope this post encouraged you! If what you read or saw added value to your life, please take a moment to share this message with family and friends.
Daneen James is an inspirational author, speaker and develops uplifting products and media through her company, SPARKSAFLAME.
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