Introducing

The trouble with a Series like this one is that my challenge starts off on the first swing at bat — just take a look at the title…  Listen — just how does one do that when they themselves are wanting to talk so badly that they cannot possibly focus on what the person whom they are supposed to be listening to is saying? VERY pointed subject for me — it is something that has taken a LONG time to learn to do, notice a word missing?  That word that is missing is the word “how“.  Learning to do something verses learning how to do something are indeed very different approaches at the same essential thing, but many people do not see it that way.

A person may be able to “read a book” on the subject in which they need “assistance” or “help” with, which is the “how” part of the training or development.  This list of ten (10) ways to love may at first look like an easy to master or tackle challenge, which just requires some “how tos” on the part of the reader, but it is BY FAR more than that.  The words may at first look like “Ten Things To Do To Love” and the list may look more like words strung together: listen, speak, give, pray, answer, share, enjoy, trust, forgive and promise.  READ the title of this Series again…  It says “Ten WAYS to LOVE”, not to do to love!

What is being presented here in this Series is a challenge of the Holy Spirit operating in the very facets of our “operating” heart — essentially the ways in which we operate or do things.  That being said, the word “ways” is the key here, speaking of our tendency of doing things, our normal mode of operation, a method used or a manner of thinking.  The actual ten phrases follow:

  1. Listen without interrupting.
  2. Speak without accusing.
  3. Give without sparing.
  4. Pray without ceasing.
  5. Answer without arguing.
  6. Share without pretending.
  7. Enjoy without complaint.
  8. Trust without wavering.
  9. Forgive without punishing.
  10. Promise without forgetting.

Each of these has gotten harder to accomplish because they have the word “without” and then the action to not do.  Each one of these could be coupled with the recall of a situation or circumstance where we might buck, recoil or shy away from, because we’ve had someone or something hurt us when we have done so in the past.  As is done with each Series, there is at least one verse of Scripture utilized to show how God’s Word gives us the “command” to do so.  Doing so is where the Holy Spirit ignition switch is for me, giving me the opportunity and ability to do those things without: interrupting, accusing, sparing, ceasing, arguing, pretending, complaint, wavering, punishing and forgetting.

It is my sincere hope that each person who happens upon this Series will take serious inventory of where they are and what they are doing in their daily walk with the Lord and how they allow the Holy Spirit to show through in all of what they do.  We can do each of those things with a humble spirit, keeping ourselves in the Word of God and by keeping as short as possible sin accounts with God the Father.  I’ve found myself that even the VERY first one which had been a struggle for me most often, has become a Holy Spirit controlled way in my daily life.  You may even notice that the list is indeed in a pecking order – how does it line up to the way you love?

HINT: they all follow each other, e.g. Listen has to come before Speak — otherwise you would not know what to talk about…

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