My winter cleaning unearthed an old notebook. I opened it to this poem from over a decade ago. I don’t think I’ve ever shared it and I certainly understand it better today than I did then. Perhaps because it has played itself out over the years.
I’ve been thinking –
perhaps I had an epiphany –
I thought of how I was willing,
begged God actually,
for the boon of being
with you. To my mind,
you were the greatest
Then it came to me
this desire to give, give, give,
to love you with all
my heart and mind
to worship and praise
your body with mine –
it was all wrong.
I was backwards.
I’ve been requesting things
which would not satisfy me
in the long run.
Yes, I want you.
Yes, truly I want all
I’ve petitioned God for.
I do. I love you.
But there is something I want
much more than the pleasure of
pouring my life into yours.
There is something I need more
than my prayer answered.
Something I deserve more than
being a giver who receives
nothing in return.
My epiphany showed me
that more than anything
I want and need to be loved and
It showed me you should be
the initiator and I should follow.
When you give of yourself, cover me,
pour your life into me –
those will be my true gifts.
When you choose to love me
with your heart, mind and spirit…
choose to join your body with mine in a
symphony of worship and praise…
Those are acts worthy of my devotion.
I was sitting and thinking –
what I wanted was so limiting.
What I was shown would open the heavens.
My efforts have proven useless against your inaction.
So, my love, I must back away from temptation.
I must resist the urge
to supplicate myself at your feet.
Resist my obsessive longing and
suppress the desire to shower my gifts on
a man who does not value
or reciprocate such devotion.
I must resist that part of me until
you present that part of yourself to me.
Your gifts will replenish and revive
even as your presence restores.
Your love will cover
even as your strength shelters.
When you join your gifts to my gifts
it will indeed be our greatest blessing.
courage: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
relationship: a connection, association, or involvement; an emotional or other connection between people
I think I’ve been working towards this study for a few years now. Looking forward to compiling it all summer. And I’ve been building it statement by statement for the last few weeks. Ultimately is formed from the prior “COURAGE” studies, however it encompasses everything I write about – RELATIONSHIPS.
Our primary relationship is with God. We have to know and understand His word in order to properly interact with Him. Once we understand the importance of “right relationship” with God, we pursue it continually. More immediately in our physical world, we have a proper working model of a “good” relationship. Our human relationships are to mirror our primary spiritual relationship. I hope this compilation of God’s Word helps you with your relationship with Him and with people.
Be blessed and live your life to be a blessing.
It takes courage to love
love: a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection
1 John 4:7-11 Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become God’s child and knows God.8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.9 This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. 10 This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us. He sent his Son to die in our place to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us that much we also should love each other.
1 John 4:18 Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made perfect in the person who fears.
1 Corinthians 13:2-8 …if I do not have love, then I am nothing. 3 I may give away everything I have, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing if I do not have love. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.5 Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. 6 Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. 7 Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures. 8 Love never ends.
The courage to commit
commit: to give in trust or charge; consign; to consign for preservation (to hand over or deliver formally or officially; to transfer to another’s custody or charge; to set apart for or devote to); to pledge (oneself) to a position; express (one’s intention, feeling, etc.); to bind or obligate; to entrust, especially for safekeeping; commend (to entrust; give in charge; deliver with confidence)
Proverbs 16:3 Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. (NLT)
Psalm 37:3 Trust the Lord and do good. Live in the land and feed on truth. 4 Enjoy serving the LORD, and he will give you what you want. 5 Depend on the LORD; trust him, and he will take care of you. 6 Then your goodness will shine like the sun, and your fairness like the noonday sun.
Acts 20:32 “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.
John 15:13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
It takes courage to prepare
prepare: to put in proper condition or readiness; to lead up to by some preliminary action
1 Chronicles 22:5 David said, “We should build a great Temple for the LORD, which will be famous everywhere for its greatness and beauty. But my son Solomon is young. He hasn’t yet learned what he needs to know, so I will prepare for the building of it.” So David got many of the materials ready before he died.
Esther 2:12 Before a girl could take her turn with King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments that were ordered for the women. For six months she was treated with oil and myrrh and for six months with perfumes and cosmetics.13 Then she was ready to go to the king.
Esther 3: 13 Then Mordecai sent back word to Esther: “Just because you live in the king’s palace, don’t think that out of all the Jewish people you alone will escape.14 If you keep quiet at this time, someone else will help and save the Jewish people, but you and your father’s family will all die. And who knows, you may have been chosen queen for just such a time as this.”
15 Then Esther sent this answer to Mordecai: 16 “Go and get all the Jewish people in Susa together. For my sake, fast; do not eat or drink for three days, night and day. I and my servant girls will also fast . Then I will go to the king, even though it is against the law, and if I die, I die.”
Matthew 25:1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to wait for the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise.3 The five foolish bridesmaids took their lamps, but they did not take more oil for the lamps to burn.4 The wise bridesmaids took their lamps and more oil in jars. 5 Because the bridegroom was late, they became sleepy and went to sleep.
6 “At midnight someone cried out, ‘The bridegroom is coming! Come and meet him!’ 7 Then all the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready.8 But the foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9 The wise bridesmaids answered, ‘No, the oil we have might not be enough for all of us. Go to the people who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “So while the five foolish bridesmaids went to buy oil, the bridegroom came. The bridesmaids who were ready went in with the bridegroom to the wedding feast. Then the door was closed and locked.
It takes courage to build
build: to construct (especially something complex) by assembling and joining parts or materials; to establish, increase, or strengthen; to mold, form, or create; to base; found
1 Chronicles 22:11 David said, “Now, my son, may the LORD be with you. May you build a temple for the LORD your God, as he said you would.12 He will make you the king of Israel. May the LORD give you wisdom and understanding so you will be able to obey the teachings of the LORD your God.13 Be careful to obey the rules and laws the LORD gave Moses for Israel. If you obey them, you will have success. Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid or discouraged.
Matthew 16:18 So I tell you, you are Peter. On this rock I will build my church, and the power of death will not be able to defeat it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; the things you don’t allow on earth will be the things that God does not allow, and the things you allow on earth will be the things that God allows.”
Ephesians 4:22 You were taught to leave your old self—to stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self becomes worse, because people are fooled by the evil things they want to do.23 But you were taught to be made new in your hearts,24 to become a new person. That new person is made to be like God—made to be truly good and holy.
Ephesians 4:25 So you must stop telling lies. Tell each other the truth, because we all belong to each other in the same body. 26 When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day.27 Do not give the devil a way to defeat you.
Ephesians 4:29 When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.30 And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes.31 Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil.32 Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.
It takes courage to acknowledge our sin
acknowledge: to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of; to show or express recognition or realization of
sin: any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, or lapse
Psalm 32:3 When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long. 4 Day and night you punished me. My strength was gone as in the summer heat.
5 Then I confessed my sins to you and didn’t hide my guilt. I said, “I will confess my sins to the LORD,” and you forgave my guilt.
James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen.
It takes courage to hold others accountable
accountable: liable; obliged to accept responsibility; subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; responsible; answerable; responsible to someone or for some action; answerable
Leviticus 26:40 “‘But maybe the people will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors; maybe they will admit they turned against me and sinned against me,41 which made me turn against them and send them into the land of their enemies. If these disobedient people are sorry for what they did and accept punishment for their sin,42 I will remember my agreement with Jacob, my agreement with Isaac, and my agreement with Abraham, and I will remember the land.43 The land will be left empty by its people, and it will enjoy its time of rest as it lies bare without them. Then those who are left alive will accept the punishment for their sins. They will learn that they were punished because they hated my laws and refused to obey my rules.44 But even though this is true, I will not turn away from them when they are in the land of their enemies. I will not hate them so much that I completely destroy them and break my agreement with them, because I am the LORD their God.
Revelation 3:19 “I correct and punish those whom I love. So be eager to do right, and change your hearts and lives. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with me.
It takes courage to repent
repent: to feel sorry, self-reproachful, or contrite for past conduct; regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude, etc; to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better; be penitent
2 Corinthians 7:8 Even if my letter made you sad, I am not sorry I wrote it. At first I was sorry, because it made you sad, but you were sad only for a short time.9 Now I am happy, not because you were made sad, but because your sorrow made you change your lives. You became sad in the way God wanted you to, so you were not hurt by us in any way.10 The kind of sorrow God wants makes people change their hearts and lives. This leads to salvation, and you cannot be sorry for that.
Revelation 2:16 So change your hearts and lives. If you do not, I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword that comes out of my mouth.
Revelation 3:2 Wake up! Strengthen what you have left before it dies completely. I have found that what you are doing is less than what my God wants. 3 So do not forget what you have received and heard. Obey it, and change your hearts and lives.
It takes courage to forgive
forgive: to grant pardon for or remission of; to give up all claim on account of; remit; to grant pardon to a person; to cease to feel resentment against; to cancel an indebtedness or liability of
Colossians 3:12 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. 14 Even more than all this, clothe yourself in love. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking, because you were all called together in one body to have peace.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you should be in agreement, understanding each other, loving each other as family, being kind and humble.9 Do not do wrong to repay a wrong, and do not insult to repay an insult. But repay with a blessing, because you yourselves were called to do this so that you might receive a blessing.
Ephesians 4:31 Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil.32 Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.
It takes courage to restore relationships
restore: to bring back into existence; to bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor; to bring back to a former, original, or normal condition
2 Corinthians 7:11 See what this sorrow—the sorrow God wanted you to have—has done to you: It has made you very serious. It made you want to restore yourselves. It made you angry and afraid. It made you want to see me. It made you care. It made you want to do the right thing. In every way you have regained your innocence. 12 I wrote that letter, not because of the one who did the wrong or because of the person who was hurt. I wrote the letter so you could see, before God, the great care you have for us.13 That is why we were comforted.
Not only were we very comforted, we were even happier to see that Titus was so happy. All of you made him feel much better.14 I bragged to Titus about you, and you showed that I was right. Everything we said to you was true, and you have proved that what we bragged about to Titus is true.15 And his love for you is stronger when he remembers that you were all ready to obey. You welcomed him with respect and fear.16 I am very happy that I can trust you fully.
It takes courage to continue and maintain relationships
continue: to go on after suspension or interruption; to go on or keep on, as in some course or action; to last or endure
maintain: to keep in existence or continuance; preserve; retain; to keep in an appropriate condition, operation, or force; keep unimpaired; to keep in a specified state, position; to affirm; assert; declare
Colossians 3:23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
James 1:2 My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, 3 because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.4 Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need.
James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily,20 because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants.21 So put out of your life every evil thing and every kind of wrong. Then in gentleness accept God’s teaching that is planted in your hearts, which can save you.
Ephesians 4:2 Always be humble, gentle, and patient, accepting each other in love.3 You are joined together with peace through the Spirit, so make every effort to continue together in this way.4 There is one body and one Spirit, and God called you to have one hope.5 There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.6 There is one God and Father of everything. He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything.
Ephesians 4:13 We must become like a mature person, growing until we become like Christ and have his perfection. 14 Then we will no longer be babies. We will not be tossed about like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced by every new teaching we hear from people who are trying to fool us. They make plans and try any kind of trick to fool people into following the wrong path.15 No! Speaking the truth with love, we will grow up in every way into Christ, who is the head.16 The whole body depends on Christ, and all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part does its own work to make the whole body grow and be strong with love.
Ecclesiastes 8:15 So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.