Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Giving & Receiving Love

Wednesday morning I had the privilege of hearing John Townsend speak. A Christian psychiatrist and prolific author, I’ve heard and read his material often through the years and have always been helped. Today was one of the most helpful.

Having just written “Loving People” Townsend shared a few insights on the subject that I list below for your reflection.

Five Aspects of Love
Love is the “fuel for life.” Love is “seeking and doing what is best for someone.”
In order to love and be loved well--
1. You Have to Need
People who can experience love are those who can/do experience a need. For example, those with abandonment issues are hurt people who don’t want to be hurt anymore. Therefore they do their best NOT to need people and consequently stop experiencing love.

2. You Have to Ask
The Apostle James taught us, “You have not because you ask not.” Sometimes we need to be loved with encouragement, support, friendship or some kind of help. Tell others what you need and ask for their help. In so doing they will be loving you.

3. You Have to Receive
One of the hardest things for us is to receive love. It makes us feel needy and weak. We would rather be in the position of giving love than receiving it. However, we must receive love in order to give it. We literally push away love with De-Valuing statements. Someone affirms or speaks loving words to us and we dismiss it with a comment like, “Oh, you really don’t know me.” Just receive the love.

4. You Have to Give Thanks
Say thank you to those who love you well. Let them know that they have touched you.

5. You Have to Use It
Digest the love that others (and God) are giving you and grow. Get energy from it, get more creativity, get connected and by all means get to serving others with it. We’ve been created to receive love and then pass it on to others. The flow of love through us is essential.

Think on these things.

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