Sunday, February 17, 2008

Love is a Battlefield

Love is a Battlefield
(How many of you are singing that song now?)
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.


I have got to tell you something. Out of all the devotionals I have ever written this one is by far the hardest one for me to write. I have had it on my heart since December, and yet I have not been able to sit down and write these words. I know, I know, shame on me, but let’s be honest here for a minute.

When someone hurts you, I mean, really hurts you…deep down to your core, well, that is not something that you just bounce back from. It takes time. It takes prayer. It takes repentance. I have had months to grieve, to seek God, to pray, and to try to forgive. A good friend of mine had told me to “start with your head and your heart will follow” and that has proven to be great advice.

It is my hope that today’s word will help you to heal, to forgive, and to move on faster than it did for me. I am not there yet (oh how I want to be), but I AM on the road to forgiveness. I will forgive those who have hurt my family, but I will never forget. And to be quite honest, I think that is ok…for now I seek God’s word and here is what He has laid on my heart for today.
Matthew 5:43-47 (The Message)
"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.”


Ah, there is the fundamental truths of loving your enemies.

Check this out…
Love Your Enemies
Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst
Respond in prayer

Ok, is it me, or does that seem extremely simple, and yet at the same time so profoundly hard at the same time.


Matthew 6:14
For if you forgive men when they sin against you,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.


Come on ladies, you know what I am talking about. Love hurts. Friendship hurts. Marriage hurts. Kids hurt. Ministry hurts. Each of these relationships are things that you pour your heart and soul into and sometimes, well, sometimes the things that are the closest to you hurt the MOST! Am I right?

Do you give up? NO! We are fighters, and each of us has been called according to His purposes for our lives
[Romans 8:28]. We can’t quit. We can’t give up, give in, or throw in the towel. Love is a Battlefield…right?

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
-Philo

Is it simple? Yes, it can be. Is it easy? No, not usually. Is it what you, as the Daughter of a King, should do? YES, YES, and YES!

I wish I had the answers for each and every one of you, me included, but all I have is this…


Matthew 18:21-22
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

There you have it...Forgive. Take it one day at a time. Seek God. Ask for His strength. Forgive with your head first. Your heart will always follow. Remember, Love IS a battlefield, but the things that usually matter more in life are always worth the fight.


On the Battlefield,

17 Mel's World Friends Comments:

the mother of this lot 12:03 PM  

I wish I had any answer, never mind all of them!

'Forgive with your head first...' I'll try it!

Heather Orr 1:03 PM  

Great word - I need to have this tatooed on my arms!!

Love you so much!!!

Heather

Deb 2:02 PM  

Hi Mel, We do share the same passion! I have a passion for the abandoned, rejected, hurting girls and women. Yes I have been there. Forgiveness is essential and you are so right, your heart will follow(in time) when we choose to forgive.Great post! Glad you finally wrote it. Fight the good fight:)

Just Juliana 2:57 PM  

Hello Mel, What a great devotional. You are right it is hard and it takes time. I think that is one of my biggest faults. I do not forgive easy, I know that I need to work hard on that so my heart and my soul can heal. Love you, Jules

Holy Chaos 3:16 PM  

one step at a time. I believe that it is only through God's grace that we can forgive, He sometimes even has to give me the desire to even forgive... to even just start the whole process.

He leads us gently through the process.

He knows right where we are and is capable of changing us. Thank goodness becaue sometimes I do not like who I am or how i feel.

Denise 6:31 PM  

Thanks for such a beautiful devotion.

Mocha with Linda 10:50 PM  

I needed that today. Thanks.

SharonB 11:00 PM  

**SIGH** Oh God how many times will I need to here this message before I automatically do it.

Melissa...thank you for sharing from a heart that is still learning and growing.

Linda 1:55 AM  

Wow, I really needed to hear this tonight. Thank you so much :)

sassiekiwi 7:00 AM  

Thanks Mel

It is hard but walking in freedom is worth the perseverance ... I remember a friend saying to me once, "if you don't want to forgive, ask God to help you want to forgive ..." to which my response was, "but God I don't want to want to forgive ..." and then its , "well help me want to want to forgive ..." I am sure you get the point.

Just keep one step at a time Mel ... and thanks for your honesty ... you will get there ...

Sassiekiwi

Vanessa 8:53 AM  

Wow, this has been my struggle this week. I love the advice your friend gave you. God has used the lyrics of Shane Barnard's song "Waiting Room" to minister to me time and time again and the line that I submit to Him in prayer every time is "Lord I know if I change my mind, You will change my heart in time". I love that verse and the encouragement it offers. That if I start to change my thinking by surrendering the situation and how i feel to Him, He will, in His perfect timing, work on my heart to heal the pain and allow me to truly forgive.

Joy 9:15 AM  

This was so wonderful. I have dealt with this many times. I feel I do better than bam! Thanks for sharing this.

Joy

Melissa @ The Inspired Room 10:41 AM  

Tough devotional to grapple with, Melissa, but such great words of wisdom! Thanks for sharing it...
Looking forward to hearing from you later!
Have a great week!

Melissa

freetofly 2:30 PM  

Melissa, this I KNOW was born out of much hurt and mercy, love and teeth grinding frustration. I am so glad to see that Love IS winning within you!

You have LOVED much!

2 things I just have to highlight:
1) this part of the scripture: "If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.”

THIS is so true & it needs to be posted on my bathroom mirror! :)

2) Remember, Love IS a battlefield, but the things that usually matter more in life are always worth the fight -

Melissa - that is a GREAT line! Your grapes got pressed & you are making Fine Wine! :)

freetofly 3:34 PM  

P.S. I tagged you & I FINALLY got your button up! It was super easy to do! It's a great set up you have there!

God bless, Melissa!

Mel's World 8:34 PM  

I guess I should have titled this post "Love Hurts" (maybe another day), but what I have learned just in the time that I have actually been obedient to write it (for all to see) that my heart is being softened. My heart is growing stronger. And HE is getting all the glory.

I hate it that I can be so stubborn sometimes, but I have to tell ya...it still hurts.

Love really is a battlefield...but like the old saying goes, "It is better to love hard and lose it than to never love at all." (or something like that)

Thank you all for your kind words, your prayers (I know you are praying because I can feel them), and your support.

My cup overflowth,
Melissa

Ivy Vega from www.ivysmind.com 12:18 AM  

Mel, forgiving is a command, and forgetting is a choice.
Both goes hand in hand.

xoxoxo

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