I attend Highpoint Church here in Memphis. It is an AMAZING place where you can truly feel God work when you are there. Never before have I been to a church where they encourage you to love others... everyone. I think some churches, particularly in the South, get a bad rap for being judgemental towards those who are not your stereotypical bible belt Southern Christians. However, I whole heartedly believe that God did not call us to shun those who are "different" from us... be it in skin color, sexual preference, mental handicaps, addictions, income.. ANYTHING. One of my favorite things, perhaps THE favorite thing, about Highpoint is how they encourage their members to love everyone... because only when you love someone can you make a difference in their lives.
Anyway.. that wasn't the purpose of this post. I tend to ramble. Really, I wanted to share what we discussed today. It really opened my eyes about certain things. We are currently in a series designed primarily for the men in the congregation, but I think I'm getting just as much out of it as the males are supposed to. Each weekend highlights a specific character trait of what it means to be a hero, and today's happened to be love. I've always struggled with the subject of the big L word. I tend to be a realist, and I lead with my brain instead of my heart in almost every situation. In my relationship with God, as well as in past relationships with guys, I've always waited to "feel" like I'm in love. I would get frustrated when I didn't feel in love, and question if I was missing some sensitivity chip that seems to be imbedded in every other female. I don't like touchy feelyness & sweet talking/pet names makes me laugh. I kind of feel like a dude in that aspect.
Andy, our teaching pastor, made some amazing points today that really opened my eyes as to what it means to actually be in love... It's not about warm and fuzzy feelings and staring into each others eyes for hours. Instead, it's more important to view it as a choice & the act of putting anothers wants and needs in front of your own. He used the phrase "instantly fall in love" as an example. What the heck does that even mean? One day you free fall into the realization that you "love" someone? Really? I always agreed with the statment that if you fall in love with someone, that means that you can fall out of it. NO. Instead, you choose to love someone. It isn't an act that you subconsciously fall into... instead, you one day make a choice that you care enough and enjoy the company enough with someone that you would be willing to put them before yourself for the rest of your life on Earth. As an example to the saying's ridiculousness, Andy used the following example: You know how you have the fruits of the spirits, right? Patience, as well as love, are 2 of the fruits. When have you EVER heard someone say that they "fell into patience." How great would that be? Unforuntately it just doesn't happen like that.. we choose to be patient just as we choose to love.
Love is not driven by emotion... it's driven by experience. This just opened my eyes on how wrong I've viewed this in the past. With a relationship with God, it's not about feelings... it's about obedience. With a relationship with a man, it's not about emotions... it's about selflessness. It might sound simple, but I've never viewed it like this. It's an amazing, honest concept that I believe will change how I approach things in the future. I'm not in a relationship at that moment.. not even close. BUT, I can see now the mistakes & the bad decisions that I made in the past. Andy closed the sermon today with this quote: "1 Corinthians chapter 13 says that love never fails. Know why it doesn't fail? Because you suck it up and stay... you stick it out... no matter what." The song "She Will be Loved" by Maroon 5 instantly popped in my head... kind of random but that's how I roll. This is the line that I kept humming.. "It's not always rainbows and butterflies, It's compromise that moves us along, yeahh."
Good stuff I tell ya.