Monday, February 13, 2012

What is love anyway?

The devotional planner I use had a very good definition of love. It is "an intense feeling of tender affection and compassion for someone." The comment:
People are longing to be accepted. When we show care and concern for them they will find their deepest emotional needs being met.

And don't we all hunger for this kind of love? Especially those living with mental illness - those who are so difficult to understand. If only we could receive such unconditional love and acceptance, we would do so much better!

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misunderstanding of those living with mental illness. There is a lot of stigma. We often don't feel loved. And how very painful that is! How much that increases our suffering!

How I pray that people will become better educated about mental health issues! I pray that people will try better to put themselves in our shoes and understand the pain we feel.

We who live with mental health problems are best equipped - best understanding - to show this kind of love to others who struggle emotionally. How we would bless others if we could give them the unconditional love they need! And, in a very mysterious way, we ourselves would be blessed at the same time.

We who have compassion can be a good example to others about how to treat a person with mental illness. When we treat others with love and compassion, others will start learning to do so as well. Imagine what can happen in a congregation when such caring is modelled by several people! What a welcoming place it would be!

Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1John 3:18


Hein said...

It almost sounds like in a perfect world where bi polar people live.I yet to experience that acceptance having someone who understand and have that kind of compassion. Due to all my struggles in my life with mood disorders I have a deep heartbreak for those who is broken but thru my own struggle not understand why I am the way I am it was really hard to reach out most of the times. I am in a healing phase and hopefully the Lord will bring me to a place where i can move into the ministry he has for me.Love and compassion for others is what we need to give and what we long for as you said Marja, as I sit hear and write there is that burning yearning inside me for it. Thankfully God grace is there...

marja said...

Yes, Hein, such a world of compassion does sound unachievable, but it will be part of God's kingdom. And there's no reason we can't start working for that kingdom today.

There are times I yearn for compassion. There are a few people who have not treated me with empathy and it hurts in a huge way.

I don't know if it's possible for empathy to grow in people. It seems like you have to have suffered in that way yourself.

If people could only feel how God loves them and then share that love with others...!

Hein said...

I am reading the book Timothy and in 2Timothy 2:3 ... that as a good soldier of Christ we ought to endure our share of the hardships and sufferings and in verse 24...and be willing to suffer the wrongs against us.
That is huge to remember everyday question is where does it leaves us?
We cannot ignore that teaching but do the best we can God knows our limitations and struggles and his forgiveness is new every moment.

Yes i suffered also much in the past when you trying to do the right thing and the wrong came out blurting thank God that is past.

We must look to the future and not live in the past that is gone nothing can change it but today I can make a difference, make a new commitment...

I enjoy your blog Marja don't stop, hey.

marja said...

Hey Hein,

I think it helps us to forget the past if we commit ourselves to serving God by being there for others.

It's kind of self-centered, isn't it, to be worrying too much about how we have been hurt or the wrong we have done. We need to forgive and we need to ask for forgiveness and move on.

There is so much we can do to help others in the name of Jesus Christ.

By practising such "other-centeredness" we find healing.

I'll try to keep blogging, Hein. It feels good to do so.