Good afternoon BMS friends. I hope you are all enjoying your summer. I find it is passing by way too quickly for me. I have had some time though to continue my spiritual reading as I always love to do.
I’ve met some amazing women and men over these past few years while facilitating this special By My Side program. One of the main themes that arise among many of those who have experienced separation and divorce is the extreme pain and hurt they experience in a marriage breakup.
So today I thought I would share an important truth that I came upon recently. Here it is:
“It is easier to act my way into a feeling than to feel my way into an action”.
For those of you in my By My Side program who have ever experienced hurt from the past, this is such an important truth. This can also be true for hurt between spouses, siblings, friends, parent-child, or anyone who has hurt you. Here’s the thing:
Hurt people hurt people. If someone has hurt you, that person is doing so because he or she is hurting. We often need to look beyond people’s faults and see their needs. Then we can learn to love. Often I find that the most obnoxious people and the least loveable people are those who need love the most. Perhaps instead of thinking about a person’s faults, we begin the think about their needs. This may change the way we feel about them.
In learning to love others, we have to act in a loving way, even though we don’t feel like it. We should act in a loving way even with those we don’t like. That is called “loving by faith”. When you love by faith, you act yourself into a feeling.
We can’t change our feelings directly, but we can change them indirectly by changing our thoughts and actions. Jesus says to “love our enemies”. He says “bless those who curse us”. ” Pray for those who mistreat us”.
Praying for people who mistreat us, will not only change them but change us. We should pray that God bless those who are mistreating us because the goodness of God leads to repentance. Perhaps God will bless those people so much that they will want to change. But even if they don’t change right away, praying for them will change our attitude toward them.
What all this means is that love is an action. 1 Corinthians 13 says that love is patient, kind etc. 15 actions are listed in verses 4-8. When we act lovingly – by being patient, gentle, and kind, we are displaying the actual fruit of the spirit. Love is not the first fruit mentioned, it is the actual fruit. Love is the basis for all positive actions.
In summary, you must first understand that God loves you. Then you can really begin to feel it, not just intellectually in your mind, but within your heart as well. Next, you free yourself from the past so you can love today, therefore, you forgive those who hurt you. Always remember that forgiveness is an action, not a feeling. Then you start thinking loving thoughts and acting in loving ways and then the loving feelings should start to return.
The change doesn’t come all at once. It may take some time. But when we rely on God’s wisdom, guidance, and direction from the Holy Spirit, we can change and perhaps feel those feelings of love or at least empathy and compassion towards those who have hurt us once again.
These are wise words and definitely “food for thought” from famous Christian pastor Rick Warren. Enjoy the warmth of these sunny July days everyone.
Blessings, MJ xo