The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Love and Adversity

Many as well as I have fallen for the lie, “If I love them enough I know they will change.” This is nothing new and we continue to fall for this lie over and over again. If love was all it took to help someone to change, then we would all be perfect because God loves us unconditionally. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

First of all we must define love. Well, it’s has very little to do with emotions and has a lot to do with choice. Second, if we truly love someone we will always want to do what is best for them even if it hurts us and not what makes us feel good.

Many of us would do and give anything to help our children. It doesn’t matter if they are 10, 20 or 30 years old. We would give money we did or didn’t have or go way out of our way or make all kinds of sacrifices. I have to admit the main reasons we do this is because we don’t want to feel bad. My wife said this several years ago and I have to remind myself regularly. “Many of us are willing to do anything to help our (Spouse, Child or friend) however, are we willing to do nothing to help them.” This is the place where we will find genuine love.

It’s hard and it hurts, but we have to look at what’s best for them in the future and permanently not about making them or ourselves feel good for the moment. It’s like giving a heroin addict his fix. It helps him for the moment, but it’s only temporary. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 The picture above I think addresses this perfectly.

As much as I hate to admit it, consequences and adversity do more to bring about change in us and others than what we call love. We cannot bargain with sin, we cannot make compromises and we definitely can’t befriend it. I’m afraid the only way sin can be removed from us is like surgery without anesthesia removing a life threatening cancer.

So why don’t we decide to just quit sinning? How I wished it was that easy. As I said it has to be removed from us like a cancer. However, our part is to get on the operating table and let God remove it. The biggest problem is we live in denial or justification and refuse to agree with God that we have a problem. Neither God nor us can help anyone that doesn’t submit and surrender.

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