|Me and Joe LaRoy in Bangkok|
A wave of the Father's love has begun to roll over my church family. In a recent praying time God told me this would happen. Now, it has begun.
As a result, I am studying love, again. The greatest words ever written on love are found in 1 Corinthians 13. There may be no better book to read on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 than Lewis Smedes' Love Within Limits: A Realist's View of 1 Corinthians 13.
Chapter 2 is "Love is Kind." A wave of increasing kindness is enveloping my church family. This is good for me, since in our age of outrage I need to grow the fruit of kindness.
"Kindness," writes Smedes, "is the will to save; it is God's awesome power channeled into gentle healing. Kindness is love acting on persons." (11)
Love is power. Love is gentle.
One quality of love is kindness.
Therefore, kindness is power. Kindness moves people. God is sending his kindness to combat the outrage.
"Kindness," says Smedes, "is enormous strength - more than most of us have, except now and then." (Ib.)
"Kindness is the power that moves us to support and heal someone who offers nothing in return. Kindness is the power to move a self-centered ego toward the weak, the ugly, the hurt, and to move that ego to invest itself in personal care with no expectation of reward." (Ib.)
Only a free person can love in such a powerful way. Waves of the Father's love set people free.
When I ask God to "set me free," I am thinking of this kind of thing; viz., freedom to love; freedom to be kind.
To war against outrageous behavior with outrageous behavior only elicits more outrageous behavior.
My three books are:
Leading the Presence-Driven Church
Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God
Encounters with the Holy Spirit (co-edited with Janice Trigg)
After a break I'll continue writing Transformation: How God Changes the Human Heart.
Then: Technology and Spiritual Formation.
Then, the Lord willing, Linda and I will write our book on Relationships.