1 John 3:18 NKJV
"My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."
Choosing love - it is indeed a choice I have to make daily. Knowing what that looks like changes from one situation to the next. I am learning to choose love rather than frustration, short tempered outbursts, saying what I really feel even if it hurts or belittles, impatience, talking over someone, saying " I told you so and so on. Now it is getting to the point that you can actually see the choice to make that is the struggle. Some behaviors are so ingrained in our personality that we believe that it's who we are (DNA). That misconception leads us to accept the bad behavior and develop a take me or leave me attitude, like we cannot be fixed. I find it very present when you are told " you are just like" one of your parents. Then the belief is that it's inherited when in fact it is simply a learned behavior. Unlearning destructive behaviors is very difficult and painful hence deemed impossible. That conclusion only gives one a pass to continue in bad habits and destroy or alienate all of the relationships in our lives.
Oh Third Cord - Where are you ?
This where the Third Cord provides that support and assistance we need to choose. Before you can choose love instead you must be freed from your pattern of thinking. I had to acknowledge first that I was wrong in my way of dealing with situations that " ticked me off". All my responses said was " You didn't meet my expectations once again". God always shows up in these moments to challenge me and make me realize and see that instead of hold him to the impossible feat of meeting my expectations ( people cannot give you what they do not have) I need to choose love and respond to him with the love of God who is patient.
Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
God's patient love and merciful love make it possible for us to be transformed He is aware of where our ability tank gauge is. Some of us are past "E". He pinpoints these deficient places in us on purpose with the intentions of filling us to the point of over flow. Only we don't get to tell him how that happens, however His word promises we will get there if we yield.
Now I am not going to lie, I find it hard sometimes (OK all the time) to choose love if I feel like he is wrong in what he did or how he treated me. Choosing love means he gets away with being a jerk right? Not so, God promised Moses to show him His glory - to make His goodness pass in front of Moses. Well one of the good thing about God is as we see it in the 7th verse, is that he holds people accountable for their actions so we don't have to.
He alleviates us of that task so we can choose love as much as we are able. We are empowered to choose and choose until it becomes a new behavior and the natural response for us. We acknowledge the Third Cord - He shows us the weaknesses that prevent us from seeing the choice we have. He then reveals the truth of who He is. His very character is to handle the things we cannot so that we can choose the right thing.
Psalm 76:1-2 (NKJV)
1 In Judah God is known;
His name is great in Israel.
2 In Salem also is His tabernacle,
And His dwelling place in Zion.
Salem - Perfect Peace
Zion - Fortification, Lifted up, - A safe place to live/be.
God is well known for being able, you can choose love - maintain peace and live in Zion.