With Valentines Day just around the corner, love is on most peoples mind right now. Whether married or single, people are born with the need to be loved and to love. If an infant does not receive love through touching and caring they do not develop properly. I believe that does not change as we get older. If we don’t experience unconditional love, we do not develop properly emotionally. We also cannot love other people well if we do not feel loved ourselves.
Unfortunately we live in a broken world, where there is no perfect love. As humans we all fall short in this area of life. We may have our moments, but in the long run all of us struggle to love perfectly. I cannot love my wife on my own, only with the help of God can I love her the way Christ loved the church. In 1 John 4:17-21 we hear a clear message about love:
“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day-our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life-fear of death, fear of judgment- is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love-love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.”
So God has shown us the way in which to love and has called us to now love other people that way. When God is living in us, His love shines through us. He gives us the strength to love someone that is unlovable. The way in which we love is evidence of our relationship with God.
So what does loving well look like? It is a daily challenge for us to love well. We are tested constantly through difficult people and circumstances. That is why it is so important for us to be growing closer to God each day. I know for me, when I start to let my relationship with God slip, I start to fail many of the love tests that come my way. I tend to have a shorter fuse and be less patient with the people around me.
To read about the way of love click here
Loving well takes a mindset and an attitude of humility and meekness. Most people struggle with the idea of being humble and meek, but listen to what God has to say about those qualities:
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
It takes great strength and courage to be a man or women of humility and meekness. It is not a sign of weakness but of great strength. To love well a person must be humble and meek. Meek means to be gentle, patient and submissive. Those qualities are rare these days, but in order to love well they are needed. So here are my closing thoughts on Loving Well:
- We can’t love other people, without God’s love living in us
- Love begins with humility and meekness
- Every day we go through love tests, which either increase our capacity to love or decrease our capacity to love, it’s our choice.
- Fear cannot co-exist with love
- Love is not an emotion, it is a choice and an attitude. It is a way of life.
So here is the challenge – Choose to love well, Choose to love God, Choose to love people.