Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Boiling Waters PH.
“How do you love people and guard your heart at the same time?”
This question has been crossing my mind the past few days.
When you’ve experienced heartbreak and emotional pain, you will really have that impulse to defend yourself from future pain (well, unless you’re a masochist).
I used to think highly of myself when it comes to emotional pain tolerance, but geez, you really can’t call it pain unless it’s really painful. Unless it stings!
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I also thought heartbreaks are only associated with romantic relationships but the people who are close to you and whom you care about can also break your heart, most of the time, unintentionally.
In my experience, I had thoughts of building higher walls, detaching myself from people, and being apathetic. But oh dear, just by thinking of doing so, it felt like a very lonely place to live in. I can hide myself in solitude to protect my feelings but I would fail to carry out the thing we are called to do – to love.
So I asked God, “Lord, how do I love people yet protect my heart from hurt?”
Few days later, in the middle of my daily quiet time with Him, He gave me the answer.
Love without expecting something in return.
Deary deceitful expectations. We often blame love for the pain we are experiencing where in fact it’s because of our unmet expectations about people and situations that we end up hurting ourselves.
We tend to forget that love is selflessness. It is not about what we can gain but what we can give. It’s in loving and giving, someone who loves finds satisfaction. When we stand on that truth and rid ourselves of ourselves, we won’t have expectations as well.
Letting go of our self-centered expectations is letting go of control and letting God fill our hearts with joy from loving just as He does without demanding people to do the same. It’s detaching ourselves not from people, but from bitterness – one of the things we should really guard our hearts from.
The more we get to know God and realize His love, the more can we learn how to love like Him. Spiritual growth is becoming more of Christ and less of ourselves, which means, as we grow in Him, He is also teaching us to love people the same way as He loves us – the kind of love that does not look at self, but hopes the best for others.
Guarding your heart is loving without expectations.
Guarding your heart is loving and finding joy in simply loving.
Guarding your heart is loving the way Jesus loves.