Love Doesn't Take It Personally
- Date: June 20, 2018
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
- From No Greater Love
One of the things you'll see as you study this out is that the Holy Spirit is saying to us here that longsuffering is patience. It's endurance. It's bearing up under these real or perceived assaults on our divinity, and so if we truly understand the love that God has for us, and the love that He has for our brothers, just start putting the same value on one another that God did when He loved us before the worlds were created. The Holy Spirit is speaking to us here and talking about this longsuffering. It manifests itself in believing the love that God has to us in the midst of trials, to where we can endure hardships and these different aspects, but what about in relationships? What does it mean to be longsuffering as it pertains to relationships? This is one of my favorite renderings of longsuffering. You put it in your notes before, but write it in there again. [Longsuffering is] self-restraint under provocation, self-restraint under provocation. Love suffers long. Amen? And we're to love as we've been loved.
Another rendering of forbearance, or longsuffering, is to have no desire to retaliate. "I'll show you. I'll teach you. I'll punish you." A spirit of separation, a seditious spirit, is a spirit of witchcraft. This pouting and separating and promoting of self, demeaning others, is just a carnal form of witchcraft, of manipulation. It's the fruit of strife and, as we know, where there is bitter envying and strife, there's every evil work. And so the spirit of forbearance, of really believing and knowing the love of God to us, toward us, gives us this ability, then, to restrain ourselves under provocation. We don't render evil for evil. We don't speak harshly. We're not quick to respond. We just absolutely, guess what? We take it. Let's say it this way, "Love takes it, man. Love takes the slap in the face. It takes all of the railing and vileness, and it takes it." Let me share it another way. It doesn't take it personally. I'm not saying that love does not respond to sins. I'm talking about the attitude. I'm talking about the attitude of heart. If what they're doing is sinful, there will be the addressing of the sin in the situation, but love doesn't take it personally. Love realizes that we're all in the same war with the same devil who is trying to destroy us. Love isn't quick to try to vaunt itself. It's not puffed up. It doesn't become the determiner of truth in every conflict.
As it pertains to relationships then, it's actually the opposite of anger. Do you have a very quiet, peaceful spirit? Are you full of the grace of God and mercy of God? The angry spirit, an angry man, is a man that's always quick to defend his position, his rights. "When I'm wronged, bless God, I'm…" But love is patient. It's longsuffering. It doesn't retaliate. He said in Ephesians, "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted…" This spirit of love that is at the root is what causes us to be able to forgive. Knowing the love of God, knowing the forgiveness of God, of course, not only is mandated, but it enables us to forgive and to love.
Kindness. How do we respond when things aren't going our way, when people aren't doing what we want to be done, the way we want it to be done? What are we doing when people irritate us, when people either transgress against us, or just become unpleasant to be around? How do you treat people who have let you down? Can I tell you something? If you hang around with humans, they're going to let you down. How do you respond to people that let you down? "Oh, I thought they were better than that. Oh, I thought we had a better relationship than that. Why would they say that about me? How come…" Love suffers long, and love is kind. Kindness is best defined as goodness in action.