“Love”, a word that immediately raises emotions on one side or another; bad or good. The moment you hear the word, “love”, don’t you have people that mean the world to you personally come to mind? Don’t you have people come to mind that cause you to think, “I could never love this person”?
Let’s face it, some folks are easy to love. My mother-in-law is just one of those people. She’s always loving towards me, helpful, provides excellent advice and I really like her son with all my heart. My mother is another one – she is my mother and she taught me to work hard and that family is important. My husband, children and grandchildren, Aunts, Uncle and many friends all fit in my easy to appreciate list.
Now, all of us have people in our lives which are not easy to love. A confusing thing about love, in the sense of loving all others, comes down to someone’s definition of love. For many people, when they think of “love”, it is defined to include sexual relations. This definition has been part of our society since the beginning of time.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful for the word love to always evoke Truth in everybody’s mind and heart? Truth, that everybody is created by the God of the Universe and is created in His image.
– Love must be sincere ~ how often do you tell somebody you love them because it’s whats expected? Sincere? Maybe.
~ Devotion? Honor others over yourself? Putting others first mechanically honors them. Sometimes I am really tired and would just like to sit and rest. An interruption almost always happens about the time I get comfortable. I have never been sorry when I have gotten up to help one of my children, grandchildren, or a friend that needed to talk.
– Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer ~ As we love others we share the hope we have in Christ and the fact that His timeline isn’t always the same as ours, but that His is always ideal. And, that God wants to listen to their heartfelt prayers. He would like to hear your love for Him and where you need His help in your lifetime. Pray with the individual to help them get started.
– Bless those who persecute you; bless and don’t curse. ~ People are not nice sometimes. We live in a fallen world; interval. Even though this is true, we have a choice to make when folks behavior poorly towards us. What we are to do, the choice we’re to make is very clear in this scripture. It’s not about, “I have the right to be rude back since that person was rude to me.” Not at all.
~ When we love people as the uniquely designed beings that they are, we discuss in their successes and their sorrows. We stand at their side through all.
– Live in harmony with one another. ~ Certainly easier said than done if your mind and heart aren’t in the ideal place toward loving others and placing that love into action. You’re responsible for you doing what you can to live in harmony with others.
~ It can happen so easily, a position or level of authority makes us think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. There’s absolutely no problem being proud of a marketing as long as you remain humble – recognizing that God has given you the skills to do the work, and it has blessed you with the position. And, more than anything, that we are all equal in His eyes. Welcome His children that aren’t part of your “audience”.
– Don’t be conceited. ~ Others will see your life as something other than the Truth of the Lord when your actions are prompted by conceit. This can cause someone to never even need to know Christ. That would be a catastrophe.
– Don’t repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. ~ This may be one of the toughest things we’re asked to perform in the bible. Consider the example of Christ’s death. Never has there been a situation for any of us that even comes close where a human should have the right to repay evil for evil. But, we’re clearly told not to. There is a right response for every situation on this earth. Choose what is appropriate.
– If it’s possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everybody. ~ Even though some people don’t make living in peace simple, remember that this scripture says; “as far as it depends upon you. You do not have to answer for any other person, but you do need to answer for you. Stay in a place where you choose peace, regardless of what the other persons chooses.
~ Oh revenge! How often have you been there and how many times has that worked out really and truly well for you? Revenge deposits bitterness and resentment in your heart. God is love and he created us to be love. Revenge is not love. That is why only the Creator of all are the one to avenge those who have done us wrong. He does not want this in our nature.
– On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him ; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. ~ How much more can you show love than by fulfilling the needs of another human being – particularly one who has worked to be your enemy. It does not matter what they do with your offerings. You must do your part with a pure heart inspired by love. Otherwise, there isn’t any point at all.
– Repaying someone who has hurt you by you damaging them, only deepens the wounds and lengthens the opportunities for resolution; perhaps indefinitely.
Loving others will certainly be a challenge sometimes. Remember, that you always have a choice in the way you see the challenge and how you deal with this. View the challenge as an opportunity to cleanse your heart and to demonstrate the love of Christ. You will grow considerably in your walk with the Lord and you maturity as an authentic individual.