Love is the greatest of these
Before I plunge head-long into today’s post, let me take a moment and bow my head in prayer.
Lord,I don’t always know what you’re doing-what you’re plans are in my life, but I pray that whatever those plans are, you give me the strength and courage I need to face them head-on.Lord, today I ask that you bless me tremendously. Open my eyes up to what true love is, and help me to be able to carry out what you command of me in sincere love.Amen
As I write this post, I can't help but looking back at the past 1-almost 2 years-of my life as a journey. I have learned some things that have changed my life, and have made me a better person because of it. But my battle with Bulimia is, for the lack of words, deeply rooted itself into every fiber of my being, and has changed a lot of who I am physically and mentally.
This change is temporary, of course. That is, if I chose to get well and allow Christ to consume me and heal me. I am fervently working towards that with every bite I take. It's not easy. Especially when I am so afraid to eat. Not because I'm afraid of getting fat, but because of the pain food causes me. That's the reason I began throwing up in the first place.
Believe it or not, it's to be expected of those with severe food intolerance. But who wants to be one of those people who do the expected? I want to do the unexpected. I want to win, live, and serve the Lord. That's the unexpected.
When dealing with an Eating Disorder I never feel full-satisfied. Life appears dull and unattractive, like I often feel in person about the way I look. Self-confidence is a real bugger, you have to guard it with your life, and take comfort and confidence in the Lord, not yourself. I have been reading Paperdoll lately and, well, I want to experience the complete thirst quenching love that is so fresh and sweet, that it catches me off guard.
I want to experience love, and in turn, show others the love God has shown me.
God commands us to love. Easier said that done, right? Love isn’t an easy thing to do. For one, it’s not an easy thing to do-love someone. It’ even harder to express those feelings verbally to someone.
So, what is love? We all know what love is, but do we really know how to love? There are different types of love: loving someone and loving something. Anyone can love something (i.e cats, dogs, poneys). These things are usually superficial. Loving your dog, cat, or poney isn’t the same as loving your mom, sister or dad.
God tells us that our true purpose in life is to love Him (Matthew 22:35-40). However, when it comes down to the wire, it is up to us whether or not we choose to live this life of LOVE. Like I mentioned above, there are two types of love, a love for something and someone. The difference between the two is this:
- One is priceless
- The other is meaningless
As stated in The Love Dare, “Love is the most important ingredient to any meaningful relationship” (1). Whether it be a relationship with family, friends, or yourself, love is the most valuable ingredient. Take it this way, if you are baking a Sugar Cookie, but don’t have the sugar needed to make it sweet, the outcome is a bland, tasteless, bitter cookie. Same way with the love ingredient. If there is no love in our lives, we become bland, tasteless, and bitter people.
Believe it or not, the quality of life is centered on the “amount of LOVE flowing in you and through you to others” (The Love Dare 1; emphasis on love added). Love is more valuable that rubies, pearls, and gold, honor or fame. When these things fade and deteriate they become useless to us, but as those things go away, love always remains (Matthew 6:20). We, as human beings, cannot be fulfilled without love. Without it, we’re lifeless. Without love, there is a devestating void.
And here I’d like to stop to point out that when submersed in an Eating Disorder, one's attention is so focused on those materialistic needs (i.e. food); and get so caught up in the things that mean nothing. The things that fade and deteriorate overtime. If you’re feeling empty, lifeless, or have a huge void in your life that you’re trying to fill by using food as your crutch, maybe what you’re really after is a love so sound it’s unshakable. After a love that is so filling you’ll never be hungry again (in a spiritual sense).
I know I am.
In the life of a Bulimic the greatest obsession is food. For me, it seems to be my lifeline, my comfort. (The truthful words). Wouldn't you say it’s kind of like our love-the love that should really be reserevd for Christ, and our families and friends? What use is it-being able to love-if we use it for the wrong reasons? It’s ineffective. Replace that absorbtion of food with being absorbed by God’s unwavering love. Do something that gets you motivated; do something for others.
That's what I'm going to do.
When love is not present things tend to go down hill. For one, our spirituality becomes fake. Without love there is no true spirituality, and without benevolence there is only self-centerness, and without sacrifices there is only insincerity. In John 15:13 it says that “greater love has no one than this,that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Now, I want you to keep this in mind: “When love is not [our] motivation, expect to feel bland, and unfulfilling-if not meaningless” (The Love Dare1). These feelings sound all-too familiar, don’t they? I know I feel this way after I binged and purged. Not only do I tend to feel unfulfilling- in being unfulfilling, I am not really fulfilling anything by constantly having my head down the toilet. I am not using my Godly talents for His purpose. I am, in a sense, DEAD. Instead of giving my problems to God, I take matters into my own hands (which usually involves running away from my problems) and fill that void with food, expelling those problems by purging, and repeating the process because I am never fully satisfied-, I also feel bland, and meaningless, as well as guilty, ashamed, and embarrassed.
I feel this way because deep down I know that I am hindering myself from embracing the fullness of life; keeping myself from truly experiencing the love of Christ; and preventing Him from using my as a vessel to reach others for His name sake. I have realized that by allowing Bulimia to control me, I am essentially allowing it to make me ineffective for Christ. I become a rotting piece of fruit on a peach tree. A dead limb that needs to be trimmed from a grape vine.
“Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit” (Matthew 7:17).
Lastly, I want you all to keep this in the forefront of your minds today: God’s greatest command is that we are to love God with all that we are and love our neighbors as ourselves. We must love God first, then we must love ourselves. But until we are ready to embrace and love ourselves, we cannot fully love others. Loving ourselves is not a selfish thing. If you are being kind to your body and taking care of yourself, then it’s okay to have “me time” every now and then.
But, here’s my question for you all today before I leave you with my dare: are you ready to embrace a life of love?
- 2 CORINTHIANS 13:2
- MATTHEW 22:37-40
- MATTHEW 7:17
- JOHN 15:3
- MATTHEW 6:20
[This Weeks Dare]
Pray this week: “Lord, teach me what real love is and make me a loving person.”
Also, take a moment to pamper yourself. Go for a jog, take a hot bubble bath, or paint your nails-whatever makes you feel at peace. Learning to love like Jesus starts NOW with you showing love to yourself.