Today love means so many different things. It’s thrown around so casually. How many times in a week do I hear, "love you"? If we really believed the words you would think everyone loves everyone. It would be like we all live in one big love fest! Yet our actions often show something so different.
As a society, and a church and as individuals I believe we have lost the ability to love as we ought. Maybe not lost, but forgotten. We lost the meaning of what it truly means to love. One simple question helps us to see this. Do our actions back up the love we say we have for our brother’s and sister’s in Christ? Our enemies? Those who believe differently than us?
So what is love? When I go to the Word of God I am reminded of what love looks like. It is selfless. Putting others before my own desires. Love is being kind, patience and giving grace. Love forgives, is loyal and always expects the best of the other. (1 Cor 13)
Do these words describe the way I treat my brothers and sisters in the Lord? All of them? Even the ones who I might not agree with? Even the ones who have hurt me? Am I kind to those I disagree with? What about those who are different than me? Those that look different? Talk differently? Live differently? What about those who are outside the faith? Do I show them love? Do I speak in kindness? Do accept them for where they are and just show the love of Christ to them?
What of the other verses on love? Can I truly love as Christ calls me to? The answer is no. In fact as I read the below list on how I am to treat others I quickly realize just how impossible it is. I can not love like this. At least on my own. It is only through Christ that I am able.
God says that
- I am to be devoted to my brothers and sisters in Christ. He says that we are to honor others above ourselves.
- Be willing to teach and admonish one another.
- Love one another, deeply from the heart.
- We are to live in harmony with all regardless of their social status.
- We should stop passing judgment on one another.
- We are to bring praise to God by accepting one another.
- We should be united in mind and thought.
- We should be willing to serve one another.
- We need to be humble, gentle, and patient with one another.
- Be kind, compassionate and forgiving toward our brothers and sisters.
- We should have a willingness to submit to one another.
- We are to live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as family, be compassionate and humble.
- We are to offer hospitality to one another without complaining.
- Love one another....
(Rom 12:10,12:16,14:13; 1Co 1:10; Ga 5:13; Eph 4:2,4:32,5:21; Col 3:13,16; 1Th 5:11; Heb 10:25; 1Pe 1:22,3:8,4:9; 1John 3:11,4:12; 2John 1:5)
would be is selfish apart from His Holy Spirit living in me. My love is not only selfish but can be needy and demanding. I (we) often demand others to think, behave and belief as we do in order for us to love. But this is not love. In fact when I read what God says about love I realize it has NOTHING to do with me.
His kind of love is all about others. His kind of love sacrifices self.
Love is a willingness to serve, not be served. Love is about dying to my wants, needs and expectations. Love is not only saying I love you but showing it. Love is putting my plans aside to be with a friend who needs a shoulder. Love is inviting someone to dinner who may need a friend, whether or not they ever invite you to their home. Love is giving of your time and your resources to help those outside your circle of friends. Love is giving a smile, a hug, a simple touch on the arm and letting someone know you care.
Let’s stop just saying “I love you” and start showing it. And by showing it I mean showing it to the point that our gift of love is a sacrifice. After all it is the example Christ gave us of love.
Oh Jesus help me to die to self. To my expectations, my selfish desires. Help me to die to ME! I want to love deeply, sacrificially, without prejudice. I want to show love like Jesus shows life, but laying down my life for others. Oh Spirit help me to be truly willing and obedient.
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