Yay for another collab! This time, I’m collaborating with my sister Madeline, and we’re writing about loving others.
In a society where love and relationships are tossed out the window like leftover ice cubes from your iced coffee, it can be hard to love without ceasing. As Christians we claim to love, but then turn on others who lack to love us or chose a life that is less than Christ’s best for them. It can be hard at times (if not all the time) to truly love another while they are being tempted, living in sin, acting according to the flesh, or refusing to believe in the grace of God. Yes, we know Jesus loved all and told us, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink,” (Romans 12:2), but how are we to do these things when outside sources say “no” or “leave them along to figure it out”? There is no other way than by understanding that if we were underserving of all God gave us and His love that He so lavished on us; how much more should we love others in return?
To profess that we care and love a person means that we tolerate the ugly, the enjoyable, the mundane, and the joy of them. It does not leave someone in the dirt or allow them to stay stagnant, rather it supports that person by not allowing lies to penetrate them and by speaking life. It takes a new foundation; one that is not emotive, based on what we want to hear, or see that person be. How does God define love and caring for others? The word for love used in the Bible is from the Ancient Greek agape.
This word means unconditional love that transcends and serves regardless of circumstance.
Going against the social norm is what it comes down to, something that is hard to hear for the majority of us who would rather just “pass by” in life.
We are no more worthy of love than our fellow men and only grace has saved us, therefore meaning that we have no right to judge others in tough times or in sin.
Love is not for cowards, the fool, or the one still wanting to have any part with the world.
It is like a fight, not turning to look at something else or fleeing in fear when our love has no affect. The steps we are to fight are as follows, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer,” (Romans 12:12). It takes time and persistence in our prayers and time, not rejecting as the world does.
By now, we know love is not easy, it’s a full time job. It takes all we’ve got.
How do we know we are on the track to loving our neighbors as ourselves? Whether it be friendship, marriage, or caring for the lost; love is a sacrifice. “Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.” (1 John 2:10). Not giving up on others even when they have hurt us and continue in sin is critical to showing the light of Christ. His life itself was a sacrifice, meaning that it will not be easy to bless sinners. Ask for grace of His love and act as if everyone’s soul is a gift that you have a chance to impact every day and you will be living in His light.
John 15:12-13 (NIV) says: My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
We all know people who are very hard to love. They may have personalities that are just hard to get along with, or maybe they’re always complaining and are just plain hard to be around.
God is calling us to love each other. He doesn’t say “Oh, just love some people, not those who are hard to get along with.”
No, rather, He wants us to love all people as He loved us, and He loves us so much that He gave His one and only Son to die for us.
The Greek word agape is used multiple times in the New Testiment for love, and here is what it means.
Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. (Jack Zavada, http://christianity.about.com/od/glossary/a/Agape.htm)
Love isn’t just merely a feeling, something we do when we feel like it. No, instead, it is actually going out of our way to love someone, whether or not we like that person. It’s sacrificing our time, our energy, and the things we have to bless someone else. It’s something that never stops – we don’t choose to love one day and choose to hate the next.
The world describes love as a flittery-fluttery feeling, when really, it’s an action, a choice, a way of life.
We have to make the choice to love, we have to take action and love those even if we don’t. We have to ask God to help us see others the way He sees them. Will you choose to love? Will you take action and do something (big or small) for someone today?
Ask God for His heart to all people
Make the choice to love tjose who persecute you
Know that it’s hard to love and takes a brave person. We can only accomplish this by God’s grace and strength!
Photo cred: https://stocksnap.io/photo/BC191THB8U