Along with the questionnaire in last week’s post (Without Love, I Am Nothing), Barry St. Clair talks about what love is and then what love is not. If you missed it, go back and take the quiz quickly and return to this post. St. Clair’s Moving Toward Maturity Series is very good, not only for youth but for all ages.
The questions we saw last week are more relevant for seeing what isn’t loving. Self-centered competition with others isn’t loving. The drive to get more attention than others, acquire more things than others, only causes us to put a feather in his cap and call him Yankee Doodle! Do you remember that song? Haha! For some odd reason, it came to me as I was writing the first part of the sentence. Haven’t thought of it in years, but it seems to fit the bill.
Competition keeps us from having deep, loving relationships with others, says St. Clair. So loving others means getting the focus off of ourselves! Competition creates an environment that is the opposite of how we are to treat others.
The bottom line is that we have trouble being the person Jesus wants us to be and treating people how He wants us to treat them when continually trying to “one-up” them.
When you looked at your quiz results, did you feel defeated? Did you feel you can never live up to the standards of “good scores” in all eight areas of jealousy, boastfulness, arrogance, rudeness, selfishness, irritation, resentment, and rejoicing in wrong?
DON’T stress about it. The point of this exercise is to realize you can only be who God wants you to be because Jesus lives in you. Jesus is the reason. You have the good qualities already when you have Jesus.
He guides us to His perfection, not our own.
Because we have Jesus, we have all the love we need. We just need to follow Christ closely to be sure we’re exhibiting His character, not ours.
Does that help you feel better? I hope so. Jesus frees us. Live in His freedom.