We have the choice to either love close or love from a distance. What is love from a distance? I asked myself this question and here is my response from a portion of my journal:
It’s missing the revelation of Me (Jesus). I am love. I am close. I don’t love from a distance. Can’t you feel Me near? I want you to feel all of Me. I want you to feel so much of Me that you have to give it away. Revelation is about revealing Me for all to see, because loving Me spills over into every area of your life; you being a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a coworker. My love pours through them all.
We should be known for loving people close and not from a distance. Loving from a distance misses the mark. Things get lost in translation, people get lost in the distance, and it makes for a harder fight. Loving close takes less energy and ultimately gives back ten-fold every time.
To love close, you have to shift the pattern of loving from a distance. But how?
This is a current struggle I have, but I’m going to give my perspective along with scriptures that have helped me. Maybe it will help you too.
Think about it this way, do you want Jesus to love you close or from a distance? Can I do something to push Him away? Can I do something to bring Him close? I perceive these are daily struggles for all of us.
Hopefully in these next paragraphs, I can share my thoughts and allow the Word to fill your mind with some self-reflection and your heart with some illumination.
“Then they came to Capernaum. And as soon as Jesus was inside the house, he asked his disciples, “What were you arguing about on the way here?” No one said a word, because they had been arguing about which one of them was the greatest. Jesus sat down, called the twelve disciples to come around him, and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be content to be last and become a servant to all.” Then he had a child come and stand among them. He wrapped the child in his arms and said to them, “Whoever welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me welcomes not only me, but the one who sent me.””
Mark 9:33-37 TPT
As a couple or with a close friend, do you desire your heart to beat as one? Then, make a shift from your distance method within and commit to loving close. Think of it this way, if you have always loved from a distance and expected to receive love before you give your own love, it is conditional, not close. 😬
Love is riskier than anything else in life. It is only in the risk that you can receive the type of agape love you desire.
How can we love close? Do we desire to love close?
We say it, but are WE willing to go beyond ourselves with sacrificial love, where serving others is above all else? This is hard.
The only way I know how to love close is to break off from the distance love patterns. Some examples that might help are: give hugs more (yes, we are currently facing COVID, but do not breathe out when you go in), say I love you more, find gifts that speak from your heart, make quality time, smile a love word, send a thoughtful text, a simple hello, a thank you, a meal, a deal, or sitting with a friend (see A Statement of Friendship blog post to learn more). If we are always waiting to be loved to give love, we may never experience close love.
“For love completes the laws of God. All of the law can be summarized in one grand statement: “Demonstrate love to your neighbor, even as you care for and love yourself.”
Galatians 5:14 TPT
Let’s love with no regrets. Think of 7 new ways you can give love. I did not say receive love, but, give love. Start now.
It could be as simple as finding the good in someone with a kind word rather than a why word. Maybe say,
“I like the way you did that. Well done.”
“I appreciate you!”
“Thank you for thinking of me.”
“Thank you for your kindness.”
Loving close will give great dividends to your daily existence. You will never wonder if you are loved because you will feel it within your own heart and soul.
Do you love freely?
Do you want to maximize your love?
Do you want to feel it?
Do you want to say it?
Do you want to touch it?
Do you want to express it?
Do you want to give it?
Do you? Do you?!
Then, stop waiting to receive it. It is time to GIVE IT!
Jesus is the greatest example of giving love. He did not wait on us to do something or earn something. He gave all there was to give. While full of heart, He emptied Himself at the cross to love us forever in eternity.
We cannot achieve this level of sacrifice. We can only chase perfection hoping we catch excellence.
Ready. Set. Go!
This week, comment on this post about the 7 ways you have chosen to love close. I’m hopeful we can speak into each other with love in some new ways called loving close.
Let me get us started. My seven are....
1. Greeting every cashier with a cheer and a good word and waiting for them to respond.
2. Reaching out to someone I have not heard from in a while.
3. Reconnecting with the widows in our community.
4. Saying thank you again to those that have helped me since my Ben was rewarded with heaven.
5. Sending a gift to someone God puts on my heart.
6. Mailing a handwritten card to 5 people, and express my heartfelt gratefulness for their friendship.
7. Calling my immediate family and extended family to check in and say hello and I love you.
Happy Seven’s! May it bring a cheer and help others to smile from ear to ear.
I will post a follow-up in two weeks to share how loving close is going for me. I would like to hear how it’s going for you as well. I cannot wait to read your 7 loving close acts, and how you personally activated them into your own life.
When we choose to love close, we automatically make each other better because we are tethered closer together!
And, since I’m a walking song lyric, check out this song by Phil Wickham called Tethered. Maybe even play it while you are writing down your 7 loving close acts today.
“Tethered” by Phil Wickham: