And Now a Word From Johnny Cash

Johnny_cash_1
"She knew him and loved him anyway"
 

 

These words were written by legendary country singer June Carter Cash who died in heart surgery at the age of 73.  She and her husband Johnny Cash are country music legends.  June Carter Cash wrote these words over 40 years ago.  They were sung by her husband Johnny.

 

"She knew him and loved him anyway."

 

I like these words.  And–I think they might be important for those of us who are Christians.  I especially want to think about the place of these words in the life of any minister.

 

A major task for any minister is to know the people in the church and love them anyway. 

  • To love the person who makes life difficult for you at times.
  • To love the person who has a way of subtlety and regularly communicating that you just don’t measure up.
  • To love the person who is a know-it-all.
  • To love the person who has behaved immorally. 
  • To love the person who has a way of just wearing you out.
  • To love the person who has such a high view of himself/herself.  ("If only the people in this church would listen to me!")
  • To love the person who has made some very foolish decisions.

 

By the way, loving these people has nothing to do with being nice, soft, passive, and allowing people to run over you.  THAT is not love.  That is not the love Jesus modeled in the gospels.  Rather, this a love that is fueled and empowered by God’s Spirit.  With that said, let’s move on.

"She knew him and loved him anyway."

These words are moving.  Maybe I like these words because so often I feel quite differently.  Far too often I get self-conscious and start thinking, "If people really knew me, they would be disappointed and not love me anymore."  Can you relate to this?  If so, you may feel you have to be very careful about what you reveal. 

 

So what do I communicate to the people in the church I serve?

  • You really don’t measure up.  ("A real Christian would be doing_________")
  • I really don’t value you as much anymore because of what you said or did.
  • Your relationship with me is dependent upon your performance.

Could it be the Lord would like to use you in your church and community to communicate his love? 

Perhaps you need to reflect upon one of the following questions:

  • How do people feel when you have been around them for a little while?  Do they feel encouraged or de-valued?
  • Could it be that some come away from a conversation with you feeling there is no way to ever measure up in your eyes?
  • Do people see that you value their world?  Or do they sense that you only value your world?
  • Do people know and feel that even if you disapprove that you will love them anyway?
  • Do you need to communicate to your husband/wife/children that you know them and that you love them anyway?

Jesus’ death and resurrection.  This event, which took place some 2000 years ago, will forever remind us that God knew us and loved us anyway.

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  • http://www.12ddm.blogspot.com Dan H.

    You must have been thinking of me when you wrote this post, Jim. :) Thanks so much for this great reminder.

  • Connie Lard

    There is nothing more demoralizing than to be in the presence of someone who will only love you if …………. whatever. I have learned to avoid these people like the plague! My tender psyche just can’t take being around them very long! :)

  • http://kasselblog.blogspot.com Arlene Kasselman

    I remember Charles Siburt saying in one of his classes that in the life and work of ministry “we know the worst things about the best people.”

    I am thankful that we don’t have to be perfect and nor does our neighbor. Our God is and that is enough.

  • darryl lewis

    Good one, Jim. Learning to love anyway is one of the most freeing, stress-releasing things you can do. Unrealistic expectations only lead to unnecessary disappointment and disillusionment.
    Thank you.

  • http://www.gregengland.com Greg England

    I’ve often told me who were being considered as elders just how strong they need to be spiritually because they are going to know the deep down dirt on people and still need to see them through the eyes of Jesus.
    Good post! For that matter, I’m still waiting on you to post one that isn’t so good!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/JMartin9669/ Jim Martin

    Thanks Dan–I’m glad this was meaningful to you.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/JMartin9669/ Jim Martin

    Darryl,
    You are so right regarding the stress-release and the unrealistic expectations. Very good insight.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/JMartin9669/ Jim Martin

    Arlene,
    Thank you for this great quote from Siburt. I had not heard that. And–that is so true.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/JMartin9669/ Jim Martin

    Connie,
    “Demoralizing”–that is so true. Such people have a way of sucking the life out of most any situation.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/JMartin9669/ Jim Martin

    Greg–Thats so much. You are always so encouraging.