Love Isn’t Love Until You Give It Away
I knew I wanted to write about love when my daughter Kim, said that she needed someone to write a blog for an upcoming week. Then she suggested that the week be August 11th. Seriously?! I’ll explain later.
I read an article a while back entitled, 7 Things to Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough. The fourth thing in the article rang true for me, you need love the most when you feel you deserve it the least. It was a real wake up call for me. I find it difficult to accept love when I’m angry, ashamed, anxious, or depressed. Living by myself it is easy to lose perspective. I can get anxious or lethargic, depressed or filled with guilt very easily. The Enemy loves to work on me, especially late at night. It’s easy to believe his lies without the benefit of another perspective other than my own.
It’s been 9 years since my wife went to be with the Lord and one of the results is that those gentle (or at least they were usually gentle) nudges she would give me to “snap out of it” are no longer present in my life. When I start feeling this way now, others try and cheer me up. I know it is because they love me, but it is hard to receive love when you don’t love yourself. It is also difficult to give love to others if you don’t first love yourself; it can be done, but it is difficult. If I am to love others as I love myself, then I really have to shed those feelings of self-deprecation.
The easiest way for me to break out of the funk is to do something for someone else. Giving to others makes me feel better about myself, especially when I am doing it in the name of Jesus. A truth that Jesus has taught me is that no matter how much I give to others, I just can’t out give God (but it sure is fun trying). The other truth I understand is that no matter how much love I share with others it is not nearly as much as God loves me.
Michael W. Smith wrote a song a few years back with this lyric in it – “Love wasn’t put in your heart to stay. Love isn’t love until you give it away.” My challenge then is to receive the love others share with me. Inherently, I know that the love has originated from God, but sometimes it is hard to get that through my stubborn head. When I get outside of myself and started sharing love with others, the anxieties, anger, and shame all fade away.
I guess the lesson is that when others are sharing their love with me I need to just receive it and then, as the old song goes, Pass It On. Sharing God’s love gives me purpose and it fills my cup to overflowing.
So why is August 11th so impactful to me as a date? God gave his love to me in the person of Pam Cooper. August 11th was the date of Pam’s funeral in 2005 — it was the day our family had to “pass her on”. Michael W. Smith said it well – “Love wasn’t put in your heart to stay. Love isn’t love until you give it away.”
Rex Cooper, Hope Member