Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Wizard was Wrong

I love the Wizard of Oz. When I was young I wanted to be Dorothy. She was brave and adventurous- mostly because she had three guys doting over here. (Yes, I know- a scarecrow, tin man, and a lion aren't marriage material- but they loved her so.)

As much I love the story, I have one beef with the wizard. When the tin man wanted a heart, the wizard said, "A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others."

Even as a young girl, this ideology didn't sit well with me. I loved a lot of people. I simply loved love. But I wasn't loved by a large number of people.  So I doubted the worth and condition of my heart. And that led me to doubt myself.

Now that I am older, I am beginning to understand that a heart shouldn't be measured so much by how others feel about or perceive you. That is a classic case of misplaced power.  I believe that our heart can, and will, be measured by how, and how much, we love others.

To be loved by many isn't so much an indicator of the condition of your heart, but a bi-product of a good-hearted person who happens to have a large circle of influence.  Does that mean the heart of a good person who lives in a small circle of influence is any less loving and good? Of we delve deeper, we could probably point out a few very undesirable, even down-right bad people who seemed to be loved by the masses.  To be loved deeply by just a few is a great and noble thing, but that does not guarantee I am a good person, or that I have a good heart--just that I am surrounding myself with loving people.

We are told in the Bible that out of all things, including faith and hope, charity--which is pure love as Jesus Christ loves--is the greatest. We are commanded to love, not commanded to be loved.

I think I love more people than love me. I love my family (who love me back.) I love my neighbors, my friends, some acquaintances, and even some strangers. I even try to love my enemies (whom I know for sure don't love me.)

I'm pretty sure I do love more people than love me. Will my heart by judged negatively because of that? I don't think so.  My goal is to become like my Savior. He loved everyone. Still does. He wasn't loved by everyone. Still isn't. Some despised Him enough to kill Him.

He was not loved by all- but He loves all, perfectly.

That is how I want my heart to be. I don't want to focus on being loved. I want to be able to love fully.

Do I want to be loved? Of course! Don't we all. But, we cannot control how others feel about us. We can only control how choose to love.

Love is a choice. And it is that choice to love that our hearts will be judged by.

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