How can we truly love, if we ourselves don’t understand how to love or what love really is. I have come to learn in my experience, that love, pure love, cannot rely on how we feel or how we are treated by others or by our perception of whether it’s deserving or not. Love must be a choice we make for ourselves, knowing that our expression of love has a Divine purpose and intent. Always remember, feelings can defy us … See Defying Negative Feelings. Feelings that impact love can lead us to love others only if the conditions are favorable to us (what’s in this for me). love is practical as well as emotional, lets first change our love perspective and watch it play out in our emotions actions.
The Foundation of Love?
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”” Galatians 5:13-14 NIV
Love your neighbor as yourself; who is considered your neighbor? Anyone can be a neighbor, we don’t have to live close to a person to consider them as people deserving of our love. “If we love our neighbor as ourselves, will we wish them bad, will we steal from them or Judge them. I bet your immediate response was no”. This my friend is the beginning of love, recognizing when we are wrong in love and making the steps to correct it.
The Biblical understanding of love
Lets study 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 which outlines the definition of love. These scriptures (vs 1-3) starts off by hinting if I work for the lord, give all that I have to the poor or help people in need etc. and do not have love then i am nothing or i gain nothing. love here being the ultimate characteristic for kingdom life.
Choose to fashion your words deeds and actions after Jesus’, we have to see people as he did – no condemnation, treat them as he did – in love, seeing their importance, talking as patiently and gently as he did.
The greatest challenge in love is to love someone without expectancy, without them even deserving it.
So then how do we love?
- Love is patient – Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. We being self sufficient human beings always like things done our way and in our own timing. But here God is saying if you can be patient then you are demonstrating love. Is there something in your life that you are being impatient about? It’s time to let go and trust.
- Love is kind – Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Show kindness, even when you think that the receiver is undeserving. Kindness is something that is personal and unique to each person. My act of kindness will not be the same as yours. Practice being kind in your own way demonstrating your personality and your love.
- Love does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude or self seeking– A proud individual has or shows a high or excessively high opinion of themselves or their importance. If we are boasting or proud then we can have the tendency to think of ourselves more highly than others. Romans 12:3 urges us not to think of ourselves more highly than another… Our thought can then be demonstrated via our actions. Love is not self seeking, If we love, we would want the best for others. Being our brothers keeper, wanting for them what we would for ourself.
- Love is not easily angered – be angry and not sin (Ephesians 4:26), we are permitted to be angry but what comes out of the anger is what is considered as not love. To counter anger, be quick to hear and slow to speak ( James 1:19), we have to listen to our own conversations as they usually formed in the mind before we speak them. Anger is an emotion that is often times acted upon almost instantly, and can be triggered by the actions of others. We have to look at our expectations out of the situation – are they realistic?
- Love does not keep record of past hurts – hummmm, this facet of love speaks of our ability to forgive. If we forgive we should and will no longer use the past hurt to get back at the person that wronged us. This takes a lot of practice, yes practice! We have to train our minds to focus on the situation at hand and not bring up old stuff in anger. To truly forgive we have to do so in love by not remembering or use past hurts. We will remember those moments, but as i mentioned before our words are firstly formed in our minds, when these hurts surface choose not to use them as a weapon to destroy someone.
- Love does not delight in evil but rejoice in truth – the truth of Gods word says that we should not render evil for evil… but repay evil with blessings (1 Peter 3:9). If someone hurt you, whether intentionally or not we have to seek their best interest. Our basis instinct is to reciprocate, get back at that person. But God is saying show this person love. The way we love has the power to change any evil heart, change always starts with you.
- Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres – the keyword here is always. This one gets to my core all the time. Do I always protect yes that’s easy. Do I always trust no, not fully I need to protect me. To trust you have to condition your mind and defy your negative feeling. Do I always hope yes, but when things are going good. Even when the opposite arise we have to hope and have faith cause remember what the enemy has meant for bad God turns around for your good. Do I always persevere not really. Perseverance shows our ability to endure to the end. But the word says always, we have to always protect, trust, hope, and persevere in love.
The way we love has the power to change any evil heart, change always starts with you.
Question: What will you do differently in love today?
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