LoveI almost forgot it was Valentine's Day. It's just been that long since I've been romantically involved with anyone. Although I also think that now that I have a firmer grasp on what relationships are really all about, the whole market-driven romantic hooplah seems so empty and meaningless. I always KNEW I'd be very turned off by overly-sentimental displays of romanticism. Backbones are much more attractive than a pressed shirt and tie.
The things most singles dwell on this time of year just didn't come upon me. I almost felt apathetic toward it, although my statements above reflect why that may be the case. There is still this slight burning ember inside to get married one day, but I do want it to be for the right reason, and to the right person. I will probably always fight the temptation to fall into empty meaningless relationships. I must remember that. I'm a fallen, sinful human.
Lately, though, I've felt more of an intense drive to read my Bible, and to REMEMBER what it says, and to LEARN what it says and to APPLY what it says. To DO what it says. When I do this, the whole picture of Christianity, my belief, everything falls into place when I put it into practice. I begin to UNDERSTAND why I believe the things I do. They are no longer external "charms" on a bracelet, but they are who God desires that I be. Humble. Sacrificial. Loving. Considerate. Encouraging. Helpful. Faithful. Gentle. Meek. Submissive.
The righteousness that I've had lately was quite pharisaical. As I read 1 Thessalonians this morning, I was struck by Paul's gentleness with them during his visit. He never once mentioned correction or rebuke, but instead the love he showed toward them, as a mother loves her children. As I read that, I was impressed by the lack of harshness, completely devoid of strong correction. I imagined he was very encouraging in his exhortations to them, although correction was probably administered along with rebuke at times, when necessary.
But I imagined the "open door" policy that was probably in place. Nothing Paul was doing during his stay with them was probably ever more important than meeting their spiritual needs. He was probably never so tired to rule out a listening ear or an encouraging word to them when they came to him. He knew he had one purpose, and that was to point them to Christ. With the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives (which Paul notes was evident to him in his letter) Paul probably had a different demeanor than in the synagogues. He didn't NEED to be harsh; he could be gentle in his correction.
I have a friend like that. Yes, a real friend. He is the most humble person I know. Right now, his humility is probably the most striking feature to him. He is incredibly meek, but when roused he will stand for what he believes in. When he sees someone going in the wrong direction, he will gently lead them back. Even his rebuke is kind. He doesn't NEED to raise his voice or be harsh, because his life speaks volumes enough. If you don't know him personally, you'd think he was the weakest person, incapable of doing anything for himself. But he's accomplished far more than I ever have, or ever hope to.
In fact, Dr. Haugland is officially working in fast-food.
To be continued...