Today’s Reading: Mark 5:21-43
Remember, Self, that this love you extend to others that is tied to their performance isn’t actually love at all, and this performance-based notlove fuels much of your discontentment with life. Because you set your expectations for others so high that they cannot possibly live up to them all the time, you are daily disappointed, frustrated, and annoyed.
Self, these expectations and standards you set that demand perfection – your definition of perfection – are what cause you so much misery. You demand that everyone around you perform in a certain way, setting yourself up as a modern-day Pharisee, a modern-day writer of laws upon laws that no one could possibly keep. You fixate on a performance that must adhere to your standards, and you are so myopic in your vision that you cannot recognize the very One your standards supposedly are meant to impress. Because that’s the real truth, isn’t it? You set up all these rules, because you think that keeping them will impress God. Self, these rules don’t impress Him, and neither does following them. When He strapped on flesh and catapulted to earth, He healed on the Sabbath and ate with sinners and ran late to appointments so He could heal the sick along the way. He didn’t bow before manmade rules, no matter how good they were purported to be. He upheld the Law of His Kingdom, not the law of your preferences and tastes.
Stop expecting people to live up to your lofty expectations and get low, Self. Uphold the Law of His Kingdom, not yours. Choose to lay down the right to getting your own way. Bend in deference to the needs of someone else. Give the benefit of grace.
…and if there is any other commandment – all are summed up by this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law.
-Romans 13:9-10, HCSB