Love and Praise

God’s Love Compared To Toxic Relationships

When you truly believe in Jesus, your heart changes. We still live in a world with everyone else, good people, bad people, believers, and unbelievers. I have to remind myself that God created me for a purpose. God considers me worthy.  There will be people in my life that will look down on me. I have to remember that their opinions do not matter. All that matters is that God looks at me with love. God sees my heart. God sees my true intentions. God sees what I do.

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Love

God calls us to love one another. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not envious. Love does not boast and brag. Love does not celebrate its own achievements and look for praise.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
–1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV)

Mistakes

If you make a mistake, is that mistake amplified and blown up by someone? Love is patient and kind. Love is not easily angered. That means mistakes should be forgiven and forgotten, just as Jesus forgave us and blotted out our sins. We will be measured by how we measure others.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
–Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

Do people lie and cover up their own mistakes, so they look good? Love does not boast or brag. Love is not proud. Love is honest. Love is not self-seeking.

When you make a mistake, do people shout it from the roof tops and exaggerate your mistake? Love admits to mistakes and asks for forgiveness. Love keeps no records of wrongs.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
–Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)

Kindness

If you do something nice for someone else, does that became a competition? Love is not proud or arrogant. Love should celebrate the good things you do. Love does not envy. Love does not feel resentful. Love is confident and pure.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
–Philippians 2:3 (NIV)

Control and Exclusion

Do people try and control you? When you make a suggestion, do they berate you? Do they yell at you? Love does not control others. Love does not dishonor others. The bible urges us to stay away from people who cause division and put obstacles in your way.

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.
–Romans 16:17 (NIV)

Do people tell you your ideas are worthless, then implement them and take the credit? Love is honest. Love does not lie and steal. Love does not try to push you down.

Do people exclude you and ignore you? Some people want to exclude you, so you will look up to them and seek them. They want to control you. Love builds us up. When we are down, loved ones should inspire us and encourage us. Darkness shuts others out and pushes others down. God’s light shines brilliantly and pulls us up.

They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them.
–Galatians 4:17 (NKJV)

Do people team up together against you? Love is kind. When people are talking about you behind your back, that is not kind. Putting others down is not kind. God wants to build us up, not tear us down. God has enough love for everyone.

Gossip and Lies

Do people spread vicious gossip and lies about you? Love is kind. Love does not dishonor others. Trying to smear your reputation is not love. It is evil. God sees what they are doing. God fights for his children. All unseen things will be brought to light.

For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.
–Luke 8:17 (NKJV)

People who gossip and lie about others should not claim to know the Lord. They deceive themselves and others.

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
–James 1:26 (NIV)

Difficult Times

When you fall on misfortune, do people stay far away from you, afraid that you will ask for help? Love is patient. Love tries to help others, expecting nothing in return.

When something bad happens to you, do others laugh and say you deserve it? Or, do others say you are lying? Love supports others. Love is kind. There is nothing kind about kicking others, when they are down.

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
–1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)

Live Your Life Focused on God

It does not matter how others treat us. God loves each one of us, right here, right now. God loves those who are unkind. We need to serve God, even if we find ourselves in situations where others do not serve God. We need to love others. We also deserve to be loved and treated with respect. We should serve God and act with love. We should also love and respect ourselves and stay away from anyone who will keep us from God. We need to live our lives focused on God.

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